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China to adhere to openness, oppose protectionism
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18:14, April 15, 2009

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China reiterated its commitments on the pursuit of the opening up policy and promised no protectionism.

In a statement responding to the criticism against the protectionist elements in China's current economic policy, Yao Jian, the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce, stressed today that China was one of the most open economies in the world and had taken actions to open its market.

China has always firmly stood against protectionism, said Yao, noting that Chinese President Hu Jintao reiterated China's opposition to trade protectionism at the G20 Summit held in London in early April.

Yao stressed that China had made significant progress on free trade and investment in recent years. The average tariff currently has dropped to 9.8 percent, with 8.9 percent for industrial products and 15.2 percent for agricultural produce, which is just one quarter of the world's average level and much lower than those in other developing countries.

In service industry, some 100 sectors have been opened up to foreign investors, nearly as open as developed countries. China has also made adjustment to trade system and policies. For example, China has annulled the approving system for foreign trade business.

"China has benefited a lot from its opening up over the past 30 years and that policy will not be affected by temporary fluctuation of the external environment", said Yao.

Yao insisted that China's policy of increasing tax rebate rates for some exports are WTO rules consistent. China has also took part in the WTO trade policy review. Measures China has taken to boost its economic growth tally with WTO principles. The average tax rebate rate stands at about 12 percent, still lower than the value added tax which is 17 percent.

China has also taken a series of measures to open its market and encourage import. It has annulled the automatic import license management for rubber and some mechanical and electronic products. It has improved the efficiency of customs clearance and quarantine procedure.

Foreign suppliers are encouraged to promote their products in China. The 105th trade fair in Guangdong inaugurated today has offered more than 600 booths for more than 400 foreign suppliers from 36 countries. And there are match-making events between some 100 big Chinese wholesalers and foreign sellers.

China has implemented zero tariff treatment to 95 percent of products from least developed countries to meet its promise declared by Premier Wen Jiabao at the UN high level meeting on MDG in September 2008.

China has sent business delegations to foreign markets. In February this year, a Chinese trade and investment promotion delegation with a hundred companies bought more than 13 billion USD in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the UK, from ham to wine to machinery equipment and airplanes. That was followed by another delegation to seek investment opportunities in those countries in March.

Yao released that China would organize more such delegations to more countries and regions.

He believes that China's four trillion economic stimulus package and new plans to pick up key industries such as automobile, steel and petrochemical will offer enormous business opportunities not only for Chinese companies, but also for foreign companies.

By People's Daily Online

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