(REUTERS) -- China aims to increase bilateral trade with Germany, its biggest European business partner, to $280 billion by 2015, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday, up from $190 billion or 144 billion euros in 2011.

Speaking at a German-Chinese economic forum in the city of Hannover, Wen also said the two countries should work to combat protectionism and to further improve their mutual market access.

Wen pledged that Beijing would protect intellectual property rights, a key concern for the growing number of German and other European firms investing in China. ($1 = 0.7571 euros)

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Gareth Jones)