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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

China Committed to Promoting Multilateral Trade System

Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai has emphasized China's commitment to promoting a multilateral trade system. 

Bo said this during his meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson in Beijing on Monday.  

Bo met with Mandelson a day before the World Trade Organization (WTO) Informal Ministerial Meeting in Dalian, which opened today.  

Bo said that he and Mandelson also talked about the Doha Development Agenda, the China-EU textile trade agreement, EU's recognition of China's market economy status as well as other trade disputes like the shoe issue. 

"The meeting had a candid air and I felt it was very productive," Bo said, noting that China and the EU are striving for a win-win cooperation in trade. 

China and the EU reached a deal on June 11 settling their textile dispute. Bo defined the agreement as an endeavor to "provide a sound development environment for Chinese textile enterprises as well as allow European manufacturers time to adapt themselves to Chinese textile imports."

In related news, about 350 delegates from 30 member states of the WTO will attend the Informal Ministerial Meeting in Dalian.

The two-day meeting, which will cover issues relating to agriculture, industry and development, aims to move forward the previous Doha negotiations, said Zhang Xiangchen, deputy director-general of the Department of WTO Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce, at a press briefing yesterday.

He added that discussions will take stock of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations and discuss the progress of the "First Approximations" of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration. 

Zhang said the meeting is a platform for ministers to exchange views, provide political guidance to the negotiation process in Geneva and will set the stage for a smooth Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong in December.

Delegates are from industrial, developing and the least developed nations and regions, representing the interests of WTO members at all levels, Zhang said.

Bo and Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce, Industry & Technology John C. Tsang are co-chairing the meeting.

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi will also attend.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily July 12, 2005)

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