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Globalization Needs Quicker Opening Pace

It is inevitable that all countries will quicken the pace at which they open to fit into economic globalization, said Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Liao Xiaoqi Saturday at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2005.

Liao made these remarks while addressing the Minister's Dialogue on Challenges for World Economic Growth of the conference.

World Bank reports show that the global economy grew by 5.1 percent in 2004, a record high in the past 30 years.

Yet Liao said what hides behind the statistics is a grievous imbalance in economic development. He said the imbalance not only exists between developed countries and developing countries, but are also seen within the two groups.

The official said the imbalance is caused by various factors. The most important one is that many countries failed to take effective measures to cope with the trend of economic globalization.

"Economic globalization means opportunities as well as challenges," said Liao.

The successful experiences of some nations show that anyone who wants to benefit from economic globalization must stick to and quicken its pace of opening to the outside, namely to participate in globalization with an active attitude.

Liao said a fair and free global economic system with huge resource flows and sufficiently open markets can take shape only after nations, as many as possible, open themselves to the world market to the largest extent.

China has made great achievements since it put forward its opening policy in 1978. Its average GDP growth rate reached 9.4 percent during the past 26 years.

China kept reducing its tariffs since 1978, said Liao, adding that the gross tariff level in 2005 is down to 9.9 percent, lower than the 10 percent that China promised when entering the WTO.

Many believe that China is developing free trade and opening its market at a tremendous speed, Liao said.

China's import turnover increased by nearly 51 times from 1978 to 2004, accounting for the world's 6 percent today. Meanwhile, China has attracted huge foreign investment, which brings considerable returns to investors and also boosts the adjustment and upgrading of the industrial structures of these countries.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2005)

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