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|Thursday, July 13, 2000, updated at 07:55(GMT+8)|
China Vows to Follow WTO Rules: ZhuChina has established a ministerial co-ordination group to ensure implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession protocol, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said during the last day of his visit to Belgium.
The group, which will also handle complaints from foreign investors, is one move by China to supervise its implementation of WTO rules after entry into the group, Zhu told more than 250 European business leaders on Tuesday. But he did not disclose other measures.
"China will surely abide by all the WTO rules and fulfill all of its promises,'' Zhu said after his speech.
"China has been a trustworthy country in economics and trade,'' Zhu said. "More than US$40 billion in foreign investment has come into China annually over the past few years. If China is not credible, who would invest so much money?''
He said he believes the ministerial-level co-ordination group will be "an effective supervisory mechanism,'' he said.
China and the European Union (EU) both want to ensure that their pledges can be fulfilled, he said.
China and the EU reached a deal on China's WTO entry in May in Beijing. The pact was hailed by European business executives as good for both parties.
"For European business, Chinese membership in the WTO is very important,'' said Georges Jacobs, president of the Union of Industrial and Employers' confederations of Europe that organized Tuesday's gathering.
"It will help Chinese and European companies take full advantage of the enormous potential for increased trade and investment between Europe and China,'' he said.
However, Zhu admitted that joining WTO will bring challenges to some domestic industries and enterprises and China is trying to make the challenges opportunities.
In his speech, Zhu said that while the timetable for China's WTO entry is not yet set, "whenever China joins the WTO, we will continue our reform and opening-up process.''
China will solicit more foreign investors by "improving foreign-related laws and regulations, improving the investment environment and protecting intellectual properties,'' Zhu said.
Zhu finished his trade-focused, six-nation European tour Wednesday and is scheduled to arrive in Beijing Thursday afternoon.
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