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China unlikely to join WTO agreement: official

China unlikely to join WTO agreement: official

Updated: 2012-03-21 09:28

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)

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China will probably not take part in an international agreement on government procurement this year because of increased standards set by developed nations, said an official from the Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, China needs to rectify some of its domestic regulations before it can join the agreement, which is meant to ensure that countries allow foreign businesses to compete for government purchase deals, said Suo Bicheng, director of the Department of World Trade Organization Affairs with the ministry.

Developed nations always raise the standards that participants in the WTO's government procurement agreement are to meet, he said.

"A lot of problems need to be resolved before China can join the pact," Suo added. "We see little chance of there being success in the short term, or even say this year."

His remarks came at a time when the European Union is expected to introduce a new version of its government procurement agreement on Wednesday. According to reports, the proposed version would bar companies in certain countries, including China, from taking part in the EU's pact while urging them to further allow European companies to compete for government business.

China joined the WTO in 2001, but the country didn't immediately take part in the organization's government procurement agreement. Its first attempt at doing so came in 2007 and was rejected by some of the agreement participants.

China unlikely to join WTO agreement: official

An official from the Ministry of Commerce said there is little chance that China will join the World Trade Organization's government procurement agreement this year. Hu Qingming / For China Daily

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