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WTO rules should promote open global trade system: Chinese official(11/20/03)

Improving the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should be conducive to advancing an open global trade system, safeguarding trade and investment liberalization as well as balancing development between cargo and service trade, a Chinese trade official said in Shanghai on Nov.19.

Fu Ziying, assistant to the Chinese Minister of Commerce, made the remarks at a symposium on legal issues in Doha Round WTO negotiations here.

Fu said the Chinese government has strictly followed WTO rules since it was admitted into the world trading club two years ago, revised laws and regulations, opened more fields, and fully carried out its commitments in an earnest and responsible manner.

The degree of liberalization in the field of cargo trade has kept improving in China, coupled with the opening of more service trade fields, improvement in protection of intellectual property, and standardization and transparency of relevant trade policies, said Fu.

The common practice of balancing trade using original places of production as the criteria has lagged behind contemporary international economic and trade development trends and should be clarified and solved when drafting and improving the existing WTO rules, said Fu.

Customs statistics show that in the first 10 months of the year, China had a favorable trade balance of 14.8 billion US dollars, less than in the same period of last year. Import growth exceeded export growth by 7.6 percentage points.

It is estimated that the trade surplus for this year will be around 20 billion US dollars, far lower than 30.4 billion US dollars for 2002, which demonstrates China's ability to balance its foreign trade development is improving, and also proves China has conscientiously observed its commitments, Fu said.

The three-day symposium was jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.

 


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