Business / Economy

WTO starts 5th trade policy review of China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-02 12:07

GENEVA - The fifth World Trade Organization (WTO)trade policy review of China, where WTO members examine the trade policies and practices of China over the past two years, began on Tuesday.

Wang Shouwen, head of the Chinese delegation and Assistant Minister of Commerce of China, told members about the efforts taken by China's new leadership in pushing forward the comprehensively deepening reforms as well as China's trade and investment development.

Wang said the core of the reform was to strike a balance between the role of the government and that of the market, allowing the market to play a decisive role in resources allocation, and bringing the government's role into better play.

At present, reform measures were being unfolded across the board, including those in regard of administrative examination and approval system, industrial and commercial registration system, and the fiscal and taxation and financial systems, Wang said.

He noted that the Chinese government was also committed to pressing ahead proactively with the opening-up drive and accelerating the improvement of a new open economic system, with a series of measures having been adopted for the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, such as those to streamline administration procedures, to facilitate customs clearance and to advance the Renminbi settlement business for cross-border trade.

Wang introduced that thanks to the above-mentioned measures, China has maintained sustained and robust growth in its two-way investment and external trade.

China has been the largest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions by now. With a total import and export value of close to $4.2 trillion in 2013, China became the world's largest merchandise trader.

In breakdown, China's import grew by 7.3 percent year-on-year to $1.9 trillion, with its share in the world rising to 10.3 percent, up by 0.5 percentage points from the previous year.

Wang highlighted that since the last review, the Chinese government has adopted other key measures in pursuing its opening-up strategy, including the announcement in September 2013 of establishing the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the launch of important initiatives of the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road".

Wang noted that since its accession to WTO, China has actively assumed its due responsibilities as a major developing trading nation, having cut its overall tariff level from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent, pledged not to use agricultural export subsidies, eliminated all import quotas and specific import tendering requirements, and opened up over one hundred services sectors and sub-sectors.

He also pointed out that China, though being the second largest economy in the world, remains a developing country facing daunting development tasks, challenged by the low per capita GDP, lagged-behind process of urbanization, unfinished industrialization, and the need to climb up the global value chain.

WTO starts 5th trade policy review of China

WTO starts 5th trade policy review of China

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