China agrees to end anti-dumping probe into European wine

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China has agreed to end its anti-dumping investigation into wine imports from the European Union, in exchange for technical advice on how to improve its own vineyards.

China’s minister of commerce, Gao Hucheng, said the two sides have agreed to ‘deep cooperation’ on winemaking techniques, marketing and personnel training. He added that he sees the deal as a blueprint for his country’s trade relations with the EU for the next 10 years.

The European Commission said Chinese wine producers will receive technical and marketing support from EU experts for an initial two years, as part of the deal.

China's government targeted European wine imports last year. Some western observers saw it as retaliation following the European Commission's plans for tariffs on Chinese solar panels entering the EU.

The agreement comes after several months of talks between both politicians and wine industry representatives within the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV) and the Chinese Alcohol Drinks Association (CADA).

In France, which accounted for 71% of the €764m-worth of wine that left the EU for China in 2012, Bordeaux wine council president Bernard Farges previously said wine had been 'taken hostage' amid political wrangling.

EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Çioloş said, 'My expectation is that the question mark hanging over EU wine exports as a result of the Chinese investigation is now clearly resolved and this is very good news.'

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