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China Faces Tightening Technical Trade Barriers: Official

China's export is being frustrated by more and more technical trade barriers such as stricter quarantine standards, a trade official said Thursday.

Guo Li, assistant minister of commerce, said at a meeting held in the capital of Guangdong Province, south China, technical trade barriers are apt to intensify in the international market and greatly hold back China's export trade, especially when farm produce and foods are concerned.

The quarantine standards of some countries can become very picky for exporters, she added.

A report of the Ministry of Commerce shows that 71 percent of Chinese exporters and 39 percent of exporting products encountered technical barriers last year, causing a loss of US$17 billion, equal to 5.2 percent of the year's total exports.

Included were 90 percent of the country's exported farm produceand foods, and a loss of US$9 billion, according to the report.

Guo said the export of Chinese goods to Japan dropped by 0.2 percent in the first half of this year on a year-on-year basis dueto changes in food quarantine standards of Japan issued earlier this year.

The policy changes already affected 40 percent of China's farm produce export business to Japan valued at US$2.3 billion,she added.

The European Union's rejection of Chinese animal products has not been fully lifted while other countries like Hungary, Russia, Japan and Mexico have increased quarantine standards on animal andhoney products.

As a result of the stricter quarantine standards, China's export of fowl products dropped by 32.9 percent last year while livestock exports fell by 4.1 percent and honey products by 16.7 percent.

Guo called on export enterprises of the country and government departments concerned to work hard to deal with the issue by taking technical trade measures, which she did not elaborate.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2003)

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