WTO push a 'win-win' for nation

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-08 08:35

China's efforts to meet its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments will be a win-win for the nation's economy and for the rest of the world, said high-level Chinese and US officials at a forum yesterday.

"Good start, good performance and more to do is what I could say about China's entry into WTO and the way ahead," said Robert Poole, vice-president of China operations at the US-China Business Council.

"Those nations that reform economies and open themselves to competition benefit citizens greatly."

By December 11, China is expected to have fully opened its market in accordance with its WTO commitment, including the financial sector despite fears it may put Chinese players at a disadvantage.

"I welcome more foreign companies from the financial sector to come to China; I expect them to develop and grow as rapidly as possible, which may motivate Chinese companies to grow stronger as well," said Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the Boao Forum and China WTO negotiator.

"Chinese companies should not be so reliant on government support and protection they are much more powerful and competitive than they thought they were."

According to Long, China has gained much more than it has lost in the last five years. Chinese companies have been forced to go overseas, becoming more and more powerful. "Fulfilling the commitment we've made to the WTO is not a compromise, but great progress, bringing benefits to Chinese companies and Chinese people," said Long.

Poole believes protectionism is unnecessary, and that free trade is good for everyone. "Of the top 20 banks in China there are only seven foreign banks, and they have at most three branches in China they don't pose any threat to their Chinese counterparts," he said.

"But their entry into China could bring capital, good products, techniques and management skills, and job opportunities."

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