09:38 GMT +317 June 2019
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    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

    Austrian Chancellor Kurz Calls for Free Trade Between EU and Asia

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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - The European Union should cooperate with Asian countries on climate change, free trade and multilateralism, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday.

    The Asian countries show the biggest economic growth worldwide, and China will soon become world's largest economy, which is why the European Union attaches great importance to cooperation with Asia on many issues, Kurz said upon his arrival to the 12th Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM), currently underway in Brussels.

    READ MORE: Kurz on Rome's Draft Budget: Austria Will Not Pay Someone Else's Debts

    "There are important areas, in which we must cooperate. Firstly, this is climate change. Secondly, the promotion of honest free trade that certain states now cast doubt on. Thirdly, we certainly need to cooperate on multilateralism," the chancellor told reporters.

    Trade War

    Earlier this year, new protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump triggered trade conflict between the US and many other countries. Beijing clashed with Washington after the US imposed a 25% duty on the import of 818 items from China. In response, the Chinese government imposed a 25% duty on an equal volume of American imports on the same day.

    The European Union also had conflicts with the US due to the tariff policies and the anti-Iranian sanctions which could harm the European companies.

    The ASEM forum, uniting 51 European and Asian nations, started in Brussels on Thursday and will last through Friday.


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