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China to become 4th largest trader
( 2003-12-05 00:19) (China Daily)

China is poised to become the world's fourth largest trader, following the United States, Japan and Germany.

Export and import volumes in the world's fastest growing economy have totalled about US$800 billion since January, said Wei Jianguo, vice-minister of commerce.

At that rate, Wei said, China's rank in the world trading community will rise to fourth by the end of the year.

The boost is driven a sharp rise in machinery and electronic exports, which is likely to exceed US$190 billion by the year-end, Wei predicted.

Meanwhile, China's inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) remains robust. Total actual FDI was US$43.56 billion in the January to October period, a rise of 5.81 per cent from a year earlier.

As the exports continues to grow, the government is seeking some expert advice to find best-practices to control sensitive exports.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has invited a number of experts and scientists to form a think-tank which will focus on how to best regulate and implement controls on exports of sensitive items.

The move is part of China's efforts to establish a system to advice and provide expert support to the ministry and other related departments, said Wei yesterday during a ceremony to name these experts.

"It is of critical importance to build such a supportive system, which will help enhance the efficiency and professionalism of export controls,'' he said.

A group of 240 scientists, including more than 10 academics from such fields as nuclear research, biology, chemistry, aeronautics and electronics were appointed as technical advisers of export controls.

Other experts were also invited to offer advice for export control policy-makers.

Wei said China has created a comprehensive system to control exports of nuclear, biochemical and chemical material, as well as missiles and missile-related items.

He vowed that, along with other ministries, the MOC would take effective measures to ensure the implementation of export control regulations and draft appropriate legislation.

Wei also said that a more efficient co-ordinating mechanism and a system to deal with emergencies are to be developed jointly by relevant ministries.

"Making better use of expert brains signals China's determination to improve export controls, so as to take an active part in the international co-operation in non-proliferation and peace-keeping,'' said Teng Fei, an expert invited by the MOC from International Technology and Economy Institute under the Development Research Centre of the State Council.

In recent years, China has issued a series of regulations and measures to control the export of nuclear dual-use items and related technologies, certain chemicals and related equipment and technologies, missiles and missile-related items and technologies and sensitive items and technologies.

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