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
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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