Five deals on the table during Chinese visit

Five deals on the table during Chinese visit
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao was to visit Stockholm Tuesday to secure a handful of bilateral trade deals, including a major investment agreement with China-owned Swedish brand Volvo Cars, media reported.

The financial daily Dagens Industri (DI) said five trade deals were to be signed during Wen’s visit to the Scandinavian country, in the automotive, telecom, railway, financial and environmental technology sectors.

The Swedish companies benefitting from the agreements included leading telecom equipment maker Ericsson and ballbearing manufacturer SKF, DI said.

Wen, accompanied by 10 ministers during his three-day visit, was to take part in a signing ceremony with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm late Tuesday.

According to DI, the Volvo deal is an agreement with the China Development Bank that will enable the Swedish brand to pursue an ambitious 75-billion-kronor (8.5-billion-euro, $11-billion) investment programme until 2015.

“We’re going to sign a memorandum of understanding with the China Development Bank in Stockholm on Wednesday in the presence of premier Wen Jiabao,” Volvo Cars chief executive Stefan Jacoby told DI.

The size of the bank deal was not immediately disclosed.

“It’s a credit, but we’re not saying anything about the size of it … That was part of the discussions between Volvo and the bank,” Volvo Cars spokesman Per-Åke Fröberg told Swedish news agency TT on Tuesday.

Chinese automaker Geely bought Volvo Cars from US carmaker Ford in 2010.

On Tuesday, Wen visited Volvo Cars’ main plant in Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, where he toured the factory and watched a crash test performed before travelling to the capital Stockholm later in the day.

Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu was one of the many business leaders accompanying Wen on his visit.

Wen was also expected to meet with Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf later

Tuesday in Stockholm.

On Wednesday, the premier was scheduled to address a Stockholm conference on sustainable development before departing for Poland, the final leg of a four-nation European tour that has already taken him to Iceland and Germany.

Swedish editorialists and activists have urged Reinfeldt and other Swedish officials to raise the issues of human rights and reforms during talks with Wen.

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