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Nation Must 'Open Its Markets?'
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After five years of being part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), China must continue to open its markets and should keep an open mind in trade negotiations.


Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the Bo'ao Asian Forum and China's former chief negotiator at the WTO, said: "China cannot slow its pace of opening."


"It has to move forward, or it will recede," said Long, when talking about the fifth anniversary of entering the organization.


Entry into the organization, according to him, has been akin to "opening a valve" for many industries.


He encourages businesses to face up to foreign competition in the domestic market. "Foreign enterprises are not monopolizing Chinese industries, they are competing here," Long said.


"The fiercer the competition, the more Chinese consumers can benefit," he said.


Long called for China to treat criticism of its economic policies with the right attitude. "If these comments are complete and objective, then we should take it as a good thing," he said.


"We should have an open mind to these doubts in fulfilling our obligations," Long said. "Only in this way can we live up to our promises and speed the steps toward a market economy."


"We should treat the foreign enterprises invested in China as local enterprises. This is good for improving the investment environment in China, and will improve the international environment for Chinese enterprises going overseas," he said.


In another development, Yi Xiaozhun, vice-minister of commerce said at the 21st Century Forum 2006 in Beijing on Friday, that China's entry into the WTO has helped accelerate the country's economic development.


(China Daily December 11, 2006)


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