China to help push forward WTO trade talks

Updated: 2007-06-19 08:36

China Monday told WTO chief Pascal Lamy it would help to push forward the Doha round of trade talks which have been stalled for a year over agricultural subsidies.

Finance Minister Jin Renqing said China would make further contributions to the Doha talks, and stressed that it had honoured commitments made before it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 by slashing tariffs and further opening its markets, Xinhua news agency reported.

The WTO head, who arrived in Beijing on Monday, said he hoped China would introduce more flexible policies on its sensitive farm produce imports and play a more important role in pushing forward the trade talks, Xinhua said.

Lamy "also expressed concerns about China's market access rules for some sensitive non-agricultural products and urged more cooperation in the Doha talks among China, the United States and the European Union," the agency said.

His visit coincides with a meeting in Germany of Brazil, the European Union, India and the United States aimed at breaking the deadlock in the Doha round, aimed at liberalising world trade.

Jin said the pressure on China should be eased as it had made large cuts in import tariffs on farm produce and had a trade deficit in farm produce.

He said developed countries should play a leading role in the Doha talks while China would work with other developing countries to bolster support for the multilateral talks, Xinhua said.

China has slashed tariff duties on non-farm produce to 8.9 percent in 2007 from 42 percent in 1992 and those on farm produce have been cut to 15.3 percent this year from 54 percent in 2001, Xinhua said, quoting finance ministry figures.

The WTO's 150 members are striving to wrap up a round of talks that has defied intensive efforts and stretched well beyond a target date of 2004 for an agreement.

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