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Asia-Europe leaders reject trade protectionism

Published on Nov 6, 2012 5:32 PM

VIENTIANE (AFP) - Asian and European leaders on Tuesday renounced protectionism and vowed to promote free trade at a major summit in communist Laos, officials said.

Dozens of leaders converged on the small landlocked nation for the Asia-Europe Meeting, seeking to strengthen trade links between two regions that together account for about half of global economic output.

"The worst thing... as we learned in the 2009 crisis is to adopt protectionist measures. That's exactly the opposite of what we need,"

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo told reporters, in remarks echoed by Asian leaders.

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