Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said Wednesday China has made remarkable contributions to world trade despite a relatively short WTO membership and appealed the organization to fulfill the special concerns of its new members.
Speaking at the plenary session of the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference, the Chinese minister said China had negotiated for 15 years to acquire the WTO membership, during which the country made wide-range commitments. He stressed that this contributed greatly to the multilateral trade system.
China's tariffs on industrial products have been brought down from 42.9 percent before its entry into the WTO to the current 9 percent.
The tariffs on agricultural products have also been cut from 54 percent to 15.3 percent in 2005, whereas the world average is as high as 62 percent, Bo said.
Besides, China has opened 100 sectors and sub-sectors of its service trade, which is quite close to what the developed members have achieved.
As a matter of fact, no other WTO member, including the developed ones, has ever made such a sharp cut within such a short period since the organization was founded, he said.
With a rural population of 740 million, China is still a developing country and its per capita GDP was only US$1,200 last year, which equals to one-thirtieth of the United States, the minister said.
The Chinese government has just managed to lift 200 million people from poverty during the past two decades and China still has nearly 200 million people living below the one-dollar poverty line set by the World Bank.
In view of this, Bo said the special concerns of China as a new member of the WTO should be fully considered in the Doha Round.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2005)