China will set up "procurement missions" to buy European goods and technology in an effort to stem European protectionist sentiment against China, reported the Financial Times. Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking in London at the end of his five day trip to Europe, said that the trips would be established as soon as possible. "Confidence is the most important thing," Wen said at a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, "more important than gold or currency." Wen said that the procurement missions would help "shore up confidence in the market." The announcement is part of China’s attempts to counteract growing protectionist sentiment in its two largest ultimate export target markets, the US and Europe. Europe is also China’s largest trading partner. An official traveling with Wen said the procurement purchases would be part of the fiscal stimulus plan announced last autumn. European sectors that might benefit from Chinese spending include aerospace, high-technology manufacturing, education, pharmaceuticals, and low-carbon technology.
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