China's WTO Updates
China Reaffirms WTO Commitment to Global Business Community

China Monday sent out a strong message to the global business community that it will keep its commitments to the World Trade Organization by gradually opening related industries.

Minister Shi Guangsheng of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) said: "We are making strenuous efforts and are capable of keeping our commitment."

He made the remark Monday during a meeting with German Minister of Economics and Technology Werner Mueller.

Mueller is in Beijing to attend the 11th Meeting of Sino-German Economic Co-operation Committee, a two-day summit that opened yesterday.

"We will keep our commitment to opening our service sector gradually," Shi said.

The liberalization of the service industries will be mainly in the areas of securities, foreign trade, transportation, banking, insurance and tourism, he said.

"We are taking advantage of China's WTO entry to reform our foreign trade system to build up an efficient market for both domestic and international players," Shi said.

He assured Mueller that the laws and regulations which run counter to WTO rules are being revised and abolished to help China keep its commitment.

According to MOFTEC, more than 2,300 related laws and regulations have been amended while a total of 830 have been abolished.

Meanwhile, the watchdog for China's foreign trade is going to enact 325 new ones.

In another development, Shi called for the German Government and European Union to abolish their discriminative trade barriers imposed on Chinese products.

Sources indicated that by the end of June, anti-dumping cases against Chinese products by the European Union totaled 91. Restrictions were imposed on many Chinese products such as textiles, canned mushrooms and garlic.

"It has caused great damage to Chinese enterprises," Shi said.

He urged the EU to adopt a fairer way to handle such issues.

An initial agreement was also signed on Sino-German Investment Protection.

"Co-operation between China and Germany is constructive and beneficial to both sides," the minister said.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Germany has become China's sixth largest trading partner with bilateral trade reaching a record US$23.53 billion last year, up 19.5 percent from the previous year.

In the first five months of this year, the figure stood at US$9.95 billion, up 10 percent on the same period of 2001.

(People's Daily July 2, 2002)

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