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People's Daily Online>>China Business

It's proved a wise decision

By Li Luosha (China Daily)

10:51, November 24, 2011

WTO membership has enabled China to become the impetus for a more just multilateral trading system that benefits all

Dec. 11 marks the 10th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Membership of the international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations has proved beneficial not only to China but also the other WTO members over the past decade.

Being a WTO member has provided a more transparent, more secure, more predictable world market for China in the global industrial chain, and at the same time, China has become an important part of the world economy, providing huge market opportunities for other WTO members.

This has been particularly evident after the onset of the global economic crisis, as China's economy is driving the global recovery. This is closely related to China's market reforms and adjustment of its industrial structure, which strengthened the competitive power of State-owned enterprises, banks and agriculture and proves that China's accession to the WTO was a wise decision that has benefited the nation and the world.

Over the last 10 years, China has fully and comprehensively implemented the liberalization commitments required by the WTO. Tariff and non-tariff restrictions have significantly decreased. China's average import tariff has been reduced from 15 percent before the accession to 9.5 percent in 2010. Second, China's foreign trade continues to grow rapidly. China's total volume of imports and exports upon its accession to the WTO in 2001 was only $509.6 billion; by 2010 this had grown to $2.97 trillion. China is now the world's largest exporter of goods and the second largest importer. China's imports and exports of services grew from $71.9 billion in 2001 to $362.4 billion in 2010.

Meanwhile, foreign investment in China has continued to grow. Foreign direct investment reached $68.8 billion in 2010, accounting for 5.2 percent of the global total that year, and has maintained an annual average growth rate of 49.9 percent for nine consecutive years.

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