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China concerned about trade and investment barriers
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15:24, April 24, 2009

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The Ministry of Commerce of China released on April 23 its annual report on countries' trade and investment environment for 2009, the 7th such edition since 2003, saying that the international trade and investment environment has deteriorated for Chinese companies due to various barriers since the international financial crisis began.

The report is designed to help Chinese companies participate in international competition more actively on the basis of a better understanding of policies, systems and practices of China's 16 major trading partners.

The report also reflects China's concerns over maintaining a fair international trade and investment environment built on WTO rules.

Trade with the 16 partners accounts for 62 percent of China's total foreign trade in 2008. Trade with the European Union, China's largest trading partner, makes more than 16 percent of China's total imports and exports.

China's foreign trade growth has slowed down month by month since October 2008 when a downturn took place for the first time in seven years. Imports and exports in the first quarter of this year shrank 24.9 percent year on year.

Although the slowdown was smaller in March, Lu Jianhua, the Assistant Minister of Commerce, said recently further observation was needed on whether that improvement would sustain.

The report says that technical trade barriers, import restrictions and abuse of trade remedy investigations against Chinese products have been increasingly affecting China's foreign economic and trade relations.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, 93 trade remedy probes were launched in 21 countries and regions in 2008, which involved more than 6 billion USD of Chinese exports. That included 70 anti-dumping cases, 10 safeguard cases and two special safeguard cases.

The US filed 11 investigations against China under its 337 Article in 2008, which restricts or prohibits imports involving infringement of the US intellectual property rights. Those cases affect 2.75 billion USD of Chinese products.

Developing countries like India and Argentina has also intensified their trade remedy measures against Chinese products.

The report includes information on risks of trade and investment barriers in each country. The Ministry has also released a monthly report on those barriers since the beginning of this year.

The Ministry will provide a disc format of the report for free to companies at large scale trade fares.

The Ministry also reiterated China's commitments on respecting and maintaining the WTO-based trade and investment system and developing economic and trade relations with other countries on the principle of reciprocity and common development.

China is ready to solve problems and issues of common concern through bilateral and multilateral negotiations and dialogues, said the Ministry.

By People's Daily Online

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