WTO says China maintains economic opening policy

21:53, May 31, 2010      

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China has maintained its long-term strategy of gradually opening up its economy to international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the past two years, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Monday.

In a biennial review of China's trade policy, the Geneva-based body said China "has continued the gradual liberalization of its international trade and investment regime."

It added China had continued to attach high importance to the multilateral trading system and had been participating actively in the Doha Round trade opening negotiations, which involve all the WTO's 153 members.

According to the report, China "resisted a protectionist response to the effects of the global economic recession."

"The Chinese government responded to the effects of the global economic recession by introducing expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to offset the sharp decline in external demand, putting more emphasis on domestic demand to drive GDP growth," the report said.

It noted that China's dependence on export-led growth left it vulnerable to the effects of the global recession that began in late 2008.

"In 2009, China's exports fell by 16 percent...Real GDP growth declined from 9.6 percent in 2008 to a year-on-year rate of 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the lowest rate in more than a decade," it said.

However, China's growth rebounded in subsequent quarters so that in 2009 overall, the country achieved real GDP growth of 8.7 percent.

The report also noted that China had continued to improve its legislative framework and intensify the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

"The country has become increasingly aware of the importance of IPR protection in facilitating domestic innovation," it said.



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