China's WTO Entry: New Cooperation Opportunities for Developing Countries

China's chief WTO negotiator Long Yongtu stressed December 4 in Shanghai that it is of special significance that China joins the world trade club as a developing country.

While delivering a keynote speech at a two-day Asia-Pacific Forum on Industrial Development Shanghai 2000, Long said it is also the foundation to bring along new opportunities of cooperation between China and other developing countries.

"China's foreseeable accession into the World Trade Organization will be the victory of all its members, but it should be, first of all, the victory of all developing countries," said Long, emphasizing that China's full-range opening of the market after it becomes a WTO member will cater not only to developed countries, but also to developing countries.

Long pointed out that it is a misunderstanding that China's accession into the WTO will cause a major impact on the market of developing countries.

He explained that in accordance with China's situation, the country has been practicing a basic economic development strategy that is mainly based upon exploring the domestic market. For many years, especially after the outbreak of the Asia financial crisis, China has been implementing policies designed to spur domestic demand, such as the campaign to develop the vast west, instead of practicing the policy of enriching China by trade.

On the other hand, China has experienced major changes in its export commodity structure: the transition of exports dominated by primary products to exports dominated by finished commodities; the exports dominated by labor-intensive products to exports dominated by commodities featuring high added value and high technological contents, which make it unlikely for China-made commodities to fight for market in developed countries against commodities made by other developing countries.

Long pledged that China would make greater efforts to improve the quality, instead of lowering prices, to enhance the competitiveness of China-made commodities in the future.

He promised that after China becomes a WTO member, it will carry out its commitments, and will levy lower tariffs on commodities made by developing countries and practice other new trade arrangements, in a bid to create new chances for developing countries to export to China.

While predicting increased inflow of overseas capital into China on the country's accession into WTO, Long also ruled out possibility of a simultaneous decreased inflow of overseas investment in other developing countries.

He added that China would encourage more Chinese companies to make investments in developing countries.

The forum is jointly hosted by the Shanghai municipal government, the State Economic and Trade Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, with the attendance of 160 government officials and corporate representatives from 19 countries and five regions.

(People's Daily 12/05/2000)

In This Series

China's Entry to WTO Bring Prospects to ASEAN

China Committed to Open Economic Policy



Web Link