World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy yesterday praised China's performance since it joined the global trading body in 2001.
"These five years proved that China's WTO accession has brought a win-win result not only to China, but to the world as a whole," Lamy told China Daily in a written interview.
The director-general acknowledged China's efforts to fulfil its commitments, such as reducing import barriers to a level that is among the lowest in developing countries. Also, the country's imports hit nearly US$2.2 trillion in the past five years, with an annual growth rate of 28 percent.
"China's ratio of imports to GDP, which is a criterion to measure an economy's openness, has moved from 5 percent in 1978 to 30 percent in 2005. It is also higher than other developing countries such as Argentina, Brazil or India," he said.
More importantly, Lamy said, China has also become a destination for exports from other developing countries.
"China is the world's third-largest importer from the world's poorest countries, after the European Union and the United States," he said.
When the WTO conducted the first review of China's trade policy in June, the overall assessment was positive.
"The political commitment and determination showed by the Chinese Government is serious and responsible, and all WTO members have acknowledged it," Lamy said.
He also believes China will play a key role in the ongoing WTO negotiations under the Doha Round.
"It is a clear reflection of the importance that China attaches to a fairer and more open trading system, providing a stable framework for China's insertion in the global economy," he said.
Lamy also expects China to make further efforts in some areas, such as intellectual property rights protection.
"I have the confidence that the Chinese Government will spare no effort in improving its trade regime and legal enforcement, which would benefit the Chinese economy in the long run," he said.
(China Daily December 11, 2006)