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China Pledges More Trade and Investment Liberalization
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China is committed to providing an open, transparent and efficient environment for business people to facilitate trade and investment liberalization, China's top commercial official said yesterday.


"To date over 40 percent of the technical regulations in China have adopted international standards, compared with only 12 percent in 1978," said Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai at the just concluded ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).


On facilitating the movement of business people, he said China had issued more than 6,700 APEC business traveling cards since the system was introduced in November 2003.


And more than 3,000 foreigners in the country had been granted the status of permanent residence since China adopted its own "green card" system in 2004, he said. The country's customs procedures had also been greatly simplified.


Bo said that economic cooperation among APEC members should focus on substantial results, which required enhanced, collective action.


He called on APEC members to further simplify customs procedures to improve efficiency and suggested that by 2010 customs authorities in all APEC member economies use electronic equipment.


The minister stressed the importance of common development, noting that concrete measures should be taken to help developing members of APEC improve their capacity building to facilitate trade.


Also speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun said APEC should care about the "issue of development" in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.


"The developed members should understand the difficulties confronting developing members in IPR protection and encourage them in this regard," he said. All sides should carry out economic and technical cooperation in a substantial manner, help developing members in their economic development and promote the forming of a fully-fledged system of IPR protection, he said.


Yi also called for the establishment of a customs information exchange mechanism to crack down on cross-border crimes relating to IPR. As such crimes were running rampant worldwide, "the Chinese side hopes to solve the issue through APEC members' unremitting efforts and sincere cooperation," he noted. 


(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2006)

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