WTO welcomes China's white paper which supports multilateral trading system

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-29 10:31:24|Editor: zh
Video PlayerClose

GENEVA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Thursday welcomed a white paper issued for the first time by China's State Council Information Office titled "China and the World Trade Organization."

Trade officials said it spells out China's commitments to the multilateral trading system, which the WTO oversees. They would wait for the paper to be posted in the WTO system and circulated among them.

WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell said that the secretariat of the organization welcomes and always has the strong support that China has shown for the World Trade Organization.

"China is active in all areas of the organization's activities and it is clear that China's participation was vital to the successful negotiations in both the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the plurilateral initiative expanding the Information Technology Agreement," he told Xinhua.

The TFA entered into force on Feb. 23, 2017, after the number of ratifications for the agreement crossed the threshold of 110 of the WTO's members, and China was one of the first members to have signed it.

Along with the WTO, groups such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Trade Center have long advocated the advantages of the TFA, especially for developing countries.

The white paper, issued earlier Thursday, provides a description of China's vision and actions in advancing higher-level reform and opening-up and it says China has "substantially opened its market to the world, and delivered mutually beneficial and win-win outcomes on a wider scale."

"By 2010, China had fulfilled all of its tariff reduction commitments, reducing the average tariff level from 15.3 percent in 2001 to 9.8 percent," Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a briefing on the white paper Thursday.

He said that afterwards, China voluntarily slashed its import tariff rates on an interim basis many times.

"In 2015, China's trade-weighted average tariff was reduced to 4.4 percent, fairly close to 2.4 percent of the United States and 3 percent of the European Union," said Wang, who also serves as Deputy China International Trade Representative.

The white paper says, "China firmly observes and upholds the WTO rules, and supports the multilateral trading system that is open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory."

China will continue to give firm support to the WTO in playing a greater role in global economic governance, it says.