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Looking back on triumphs, problems of China's 10 years in WTO

By Yao Jingyuan (

10:41, August 12, 2011

Since its accession to the WTO in 2001, China has actively participated in the globalization process and made remarkable achievements in foreign trade, foreign capital utilization and international economic cooperation. Overall, the country has achieved rapid economic growth and carried out major reforms over the past 10 years.

Remarkable achievements

1) China's foreign trade volume up from sixth place in 2001 to second place in 2010

China's foreign trade has developed by leaps and bounds in the past 10 years. The country's total imports and exports from 2002 to 2010 amounted to more than 15.7 trillion U.S. dollars, with the total exports standing at more than 8.5 trillion U.S. dollars and total imports at more than 7.2 trillion U.S. dollars. China's total imports and exports, namely its foreign trade volume, reached nearly 3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2010, about 5.8 times that of 2001. The country's foreign trade volume ranked second in the world last year only after the United States.

2) China improves trade structure

Since its accession to the WTO, China has made great efforts to achieve a balanced trade structure. Its average tariff rate dropped from more than 15 percent in 2001 to nearly 10 percent in 2010, and its trade structure has shifted from a large trade surplus to a more balanced state. Furthermore, China’s foreign trade has also experienced other positive changes, which have not only met the needs of domestic economic development but also contributed much to the global economic recovery after the global financial crisis.

3) Comprehensive improvement in scale and quality of foreign investments

China has utilized foreign investments to optimize its capital allocation, advance technical progress and perfect the market-oriented economic system. The nation has changed the way it uses foreign investments, shifting the focus from scale and speed to quality and efficiency, with a comprehensive improvement in the scale and quality of foreign investment. China has become the second largest foreign investment recipient country in the world. The means of utilizing foreign investments have been diversified.

4) Continuous increase in outbound investments

Following China's accession into the WTO, the country implemented the "go abroad" strategy, made new progress in overseas cooperation and investment and further expanded the scale and efficiency of its "going abroad." Despite the severe impact of the international financial crisis, China's outbound investments and international economic cooperation have been on the rise, playing positive roles in promoting China's stable and relatively rapid economic development.

5) Great contributions of foreign trade to economic growth and social progress

China has remarkably accelerated the pace of developing a market-oriented economic system over the past decade and has basically established an open-style economic system. It has put a relatively stable system in place to safeguard participation in globalization. China's comprehensive strength has considerably advanced, and its national image has comprehensively improved. Its foreign economic and trade ties have experienced substantial changes, and multilateral trade is progressing smoothly under the guidance of the WTO rules. Its economic safety situation has significantly improved, and its capabilities to participate in the global governance have been on the considerable rise. China has also made remarkable progress in developing the legal consciousness of society, and their awareness of rules.

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