November 2, 2001

China Still Has Two Barriers Ahead Before Its WTO Entry

Despite that China's WTO accession has become a thing of certainty, China still faces the problem of getting the approval on legal documents and the two unsolved obstacles.

One is that Europe and America still have some disagreements on foreign insurance stock right problem after China joins the trade body, the other being that Mexico failed to reach an agreement with China.

Liu Guangxi, deputy director of the Beijing-based WTO Research Institute said that if the two sides could not reach the accord, this would not affect China's accession in November.

Girard, chairman of the Working Party and Switzerland's trade representative to the TWO said that WTO Geneva meeting will be held on September 10, focusing on discussion of China's WTO entry problem.

If the meeting could pass all the legal documents for China's accession to the WTO and submit them to the WTO General Council, this would help China get the right to enter the trade body.

China and Mexico held a bilateral negotiation in Beijing recently, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement.

Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng expressed on August 1 that although the two sides failed in reaching an accord, great progress has been made and the two sides will hold another talk recently in the hope to conclude a deal soon.

According to experts, the major block for the failure of Sino-Mexican negotiation could be Mexico's worry about China's dumping to the country after China joins the WTO, thus affecting Mexico's national industry.

Mexico demanded a 13-year protection period for its market, but China promised 5 years the utmost.

Liu Guangxi said that Mexico is the second large country in Latin America, its production and export structure share many similarities with China. Both of the two countries have some labor-intensive industries and so the two sides will face more competition in textile, mechanical and electrical products.

In addition, some experts said, Mexico is afraid that China may take away its American market for China's labors are very cheap.

China will make final efforts and has a promising vista ahead, said Liu.

So far, China has entered the final stage for joining the WTO. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Thailand's former deputy prime minister who will be director-general of the WTO in 2002 said lately that China has finished 90 percent of its preparation work and the WTO General Council is engaged in the last procedure for China's accession.

He said, China may become a full WTO member at the beginning of next year. The fourth ministerial-level meeting of the WTO will be held from November 9 to 13 in Doha, capital of Qatar to vote for China's WTO accession.

If China could win 23 votes, China will be approved to enter the trade body.

(People’s Daily 08/07/2001)

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