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Commerce Minister: protectionism not China solution against protectionism
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08:45, July 08, 2009

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Largest China biz delegation sign 30 plus deals with Italy

Chinese President Hu promotes new economic co-op potential with Italy, EU

As an important participant of the economic globalization benefiting from that process, China is practicing what it preaches on opposing protectionism and will never use protectionism to fight against protectionism, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming in his article published on La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper.

China is the largest pray of the global protectionism, he said.

But China is not practicing protectionism. Chen said China's tariffs stood at 9.8 percent, with only 15.2 percent tariffs on agricultural products, which was one quarter of the world's average.

China has become the world's third largest importer. From 2002 to 2008, China imported 4.8 trillion USD with an annual growth of 25.1 percent. The increased imports accounted for 9 percent of the world’s total.

By the end of 2008, China had actually used 850 billion USD of foreign investment. About 280,000 foreign-funded enterprises are in operation in China and most of them are making profits.

Foreign brands and imported products dominate some important consumer products markets in China. For example, they have 70 percent, 75 percent, 75 percent and 50 percent market share in automobile, cell phone, cosmetics and home appliance, respectively.

China has been keeping its commitments on opening-up strategy on the principal of reciprocity and securing the world multi-lateral trading system in its efforts on tackling the financial crisis, Chen noted.

Foreign companies have benefited a lot from China's stimulus package which is in line with the WTO rules and treats domestic and foreign products equally. Many foreign brands have become suppliers of government-subsidized home appliance projects for rural residents.

The recent document requiring procurement of China-made products a priority in government-funded projects targets against the discrimination against Chinese products in some local levels. And the concept of China-made products also includes those made by foreign companies in China.

The criticism of the "buy China" protectionism policy is a result of misunderstanding. And China is not a member of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. China is willing to further open its government procurement market, so we hope that other members of the agreement show flexibility to make China’s early accession possible.

China is the biggest victim of trade protectionism in the world. A WTO statistics show that China was the target of most trade remedy investigations in 2008, subject to 73 anti-dumping cases and 10 countervailing cases, accounting for 35 percent and 71 percent of the global cases respectively.

In the first half of 2009, 58 investigations have been launched against China, involving more than 8 billion USD of Chinese products.

Despite of that, China will not wield the stick of protectionism to fight against protectionism.

Instead, China would like to strongly urge every country to honor the commitments on opposing trade protectionism reiterated by world leaders so that the trade protectionism, which is no cure to economic recovery, will not hinder the revival of the world economy.

By People's Daily Online

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