EU trade chief: 'More is needed'
Updated: 2006-06-08 15:24 European Union trade chief Peter Mandelson has
urged China to assume a greater leadership role in the global economy, saying
much more was needed to open up the Asian giant's markets.
Mandelson, on a five-day trip to China, listed a litany of grievances in
fields ranging from agricultural products to banking, as he spoke to students at
the People's University in Beijing.
European Union trade chief Peter Mandelson,
seen here, has urged China to assume a greater leadership role in the
global economy, saying much more was needed to open up the Asian giant's
"China's World Trade Organization membership has been another significant
step -- provided the commitments are met. But more is needed," he said.
He said China, which entered the WTO in late 2001, was destined to play "a
pivotal role" in the world economy for decades to come, but that this status was
linked to important duties and obligations.
"Economic leadership also brings with it responsibilities -- to respect and
support open markets, to apply rather than circumvent the rules and, above all,
to ensure that the benefits of open markets are shared by all," he said.
Issues raised by Mandelson included non-tariff barriers such as procedures
for product certification and labeling approvals, as well as lengthy
He also mentioned sanitary barriers in agricultural trade, national standards
in conflict with international ones and a failure to open up government
Finally, he pointed out complex rules restricting foreign investment and
unequal access to banking finance.
"These practices complicate the lives of our businesses selling into China.
We would like to work now with China to see them removed," he said.
The value of Chinese exports to the European Union has almost doubled in four
years from 81 billion euro to 157 billion euro (104 billion dollars to 201
billion dollars), Mandelson said.
He said this had boosted China's share in overall EU imports to more than 13
percent from eight percent over the same period.