WTO China’s best way to ex­pand trade

Na­tion works for healthy global econ­omy as it marks 15 years in the or­ga­ni­za­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHONG NAN zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will con­tinue to push for glob­al­iza­tion, and mul­ti­lat­eral talks and pro­mo­tion of trade, as it marked the 15 th an­niver­sary of join­ing the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion on Sunday, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese trade of­fi­cials and ex­perts.

China must con­tinue to sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said Tu Xin­quan, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of International Busi­ness and Eco­nom­ics in Bei­jing.

WTO mem­ber­ship has sig­nif­i­cantly in­vig­o­rated Chi­nese com­pa­nies and the econ­omy, with China mak­ing progress far greater than ex­pected in the 15 years.

Since China joined the WTO as its 143rd mem­ber on Dec 11, 2001, it has grown into the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, while mil­lions of its peo­ple have been lifted out of poverty thanks to the wide range of prod­ucts it makes, from gar­ments to bul­let trains and in­dus­trial ro­bots.

It will be crit­i­cal for China to take prac­ti­cal mea­sures to con­front po­ten­tial chal­lenges caused by trade fric­tion and ris­ing pro­tec­tion­ism, cur­rency wars and cap­i­tal out­flow in 2017, said Zhang Yan­sheng, chief econ­o­mist of the Bei­jing- based China Cen­ter for International Eco­nomic Ex­change.

Zhang said fac­tors such as the Brexit talks sched­uled to start next year, new trade poli­cies an­tic­i­pated from US pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump and dif­fer­ent trade pro­tec­tion­ism mea­sures spring­ing up in both de­vel­op­ing and de­vel­oped coun­tries will all add to un­cer­tain­ties for both Chi­nese and global economies next year.

Zhang Jian­ping, di­rec­tor of the re­search cen­ter for re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion un­der the Min­istry of Com­merce,

WTO mem­ber­ship has sig­nif­i­cantly in­vig­o­rated Chi­nese com­pa­nies and the econ­omy, with China mak­ing progress far greater than ex­pected in the 15 years.

sug­gested China build up a global net­work of free trade ar­eas to lower tar­iffs, while fur­ther open­ing up in­vest­ment and ser­vices in­dus­tries.

Min­istry of Com­merce spokesman Shen Danyang said ear­lier in Oc­to­ber that China will work with G20 mem­bers to jointly set up a global trade alert in­dex, sim­i­lar to var­i­ous in­dexes be­ing used in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try, to fur­ther help com­pa­nies avoid risk.

China has been the world’s big­gest trader of goods by vol­ume for three con­sec­u­tive years. It has also be­come the largest trade part­ner of over 120 coun­tries and re­gions, data from the Min­istry of Com­merce show.

The coun­try shipped $2.28 tril­lion in goods to global mar­kets in 2015, about 7.6 times higher than the vol­ume in 2001. It bought $1.68 tril­lion in for­eign prod­ucts, an al­most six­fold in­crease from 2001.

China will also urge more tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to less-de­vel­oped economies, es­pe­cially African and Pa­cific is­land states, Shen said.

As the world’s sec­ond big­gest in­vestor, the coun­try’s out­bound di­rect in­vest­ment jumped 53.3 per­cent yearon-year to reach $145.96 bil­lion in the Jan­uary-Oc­to­ber pe­riod this year, ex­ceed­ing the coun­try’s to­tal ODI amount in 2015.

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