MOC creating consulting committee

Updated: 2011-07-20 09:50

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The Ministry of Commerce is establishing a policy consultancy committee to improve the process of drafting and implementing laws and regulations, amid an increasingly complex domestic and global economic and trade environment.

The policy consultancy committee, the ministry's first, will have 22 experts specializing in areas such as finance and taxation, macroeconomics, trade, the world economy and foreign affairs.

The panel "will help us draft rules and regulations in a more scientific way and standardize the decision-making process, by distilling the brainpower and research of the committee members", said Commerce Minister Chen Deming on Tuesday in Beijing.

The committee's formation "comes at the right time, when China is at the crucial point of transforming its economic development mode".

The members include Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute and a former member of the central bank's monetary policy committee, and Ba Shusong, a senior researcher on financial issues at the Development Research Center under the State Council.

The ministry will regularly organize discussions on key economic and trade issues, where it will solicit advice from the committee members, who will serve two-year terms.

A year ago, the State Council, China's cabinet, asked the ministry to study the possibility of setting up an economic and trade policy committee.

The ministry's main tasks are dealing with imports and exports, absorbing foreign direct investment (FDI), encouraging outbound direct investment and dealing with trade remedy cases targeting China.

As the Chinese and world economies are "at a crucial point and there are many uncertainties, it is more and more important for China to have a consultancy committee concerning economic and trade policies," said Wang Luolin, director of the committee and former executive vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

To reduce reliance on overseas demand, China is committed to expanding domestic consumption and imports, rather than exports, to boost its economy in the next five years.

But the growth rate of imports as well as exports declined during the first half.

China's exports are being challenged by many factors including rising costs, the yuan's appreciation and trade protectionism.

Although China is still regarded as a most attractive destination for FDI, growth in such investments decreased in the first half of this year.

"China should have set up such an organization (committee) earlier, and the Chinese government needs a professional team to help the nation cash in on opportunities, fend off risks and address problems," said Hai Wen, vice-president of Peking University, who is a committee member.