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Chief WTO negotiator anticipates next decade of China

(Global Times)

08:10, September 16, 2011

A female worker in a textile factory in Huabei, Anhui Province. Photo: CFP

In the next decade, China needs to open up its market further and ensure fair treatment not only for foreign competitors but also for domestic small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Long Yongtu, China’s former chief negotiator with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

Long was China’s chief WTO negotiator from January 1995 to September 2001. In November 2001, China was accepted as a full WTO member. Long won the world’s respect for his wisdom and charisma during the negotiations.

“China’s decision to join the WTO greatly boosted its economic growth and also contributed to the world economy,” said Long. “Negotiators of both sides, including myself, didn’t expect at that time that China’s economy would grow so fast.”

China’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of above 10 percent in the past decade, and is now the world’s second largest, having been the sixth largest 10 years ago. Strong trade growth has been the driving force.

China’s trade value of about $3 trillion last year was six times that of 2001 when it joined the WTO. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China exceeded $100 billion in 2010 for the first time, making the country the world’s second biggest destination for FDI after the US, according to statistics from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

With a stronger economy and surging mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in overseas markets, outbound investment has also grown at unprecedented speed, rising to $68 billion in 2010, almost 23 times the $3 billion of 2001.

By 2010, China had fulfilled its commitment to cut the average tariff for industrial goods and agricultural goods to 8.9 and 15 percent respectively, as agreed when it joined the WTO.

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Observer at 2011-09-1666.58.203.*
I will not purchase anything other than things made of fabrics from China. Precision products are limited to the very high end and the rest of the products are just pure crap. It is not that Chinese are not capable of quality. Because we know this is not true but rather the opposite. Until this concept is learned and truly understood China will always be a want-to-be in the global market place.

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