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Cover Stories Series 2011> Market-Driven Model> Video
UPDATED: December 6, 2011
China: 10 Years of WTO Membership

Ten years ago, China became the 143rd member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). From then on, China has seen remarkable growth - and become an integral part of the global economy.

In the information center of China's Customs Administration, every single second, $300,000 of global trade is underway. China is now the second largest trading country in the world.

Zheng Yuesheng, deputy director of Statics Department, General Administration of Customs, said, "Within 10 years, China's total import and export value has increased six fold. The total value is around $3 trillion. Such that sort of pace is quite rare worldwide."

China has grown accustomed to this kind of extraordinary growth. But 10 years ago, this kind of development was unimaginable. Before China's entry to the WTO, many were concerned about what membership would mean for the country's economy, and ordinary Chinese.

Long Yongtu, China's chief negotiator for WTO entry, said, "People held an unexplainable fear, they were worried overseas businesses and products would impact China's companies and markets."

Despite such concerns, China entered the WTO and opened its doors to the world. It promised to lower customs tariffs, abolish restrictions on car imports within 5 years, and allow overseas banks into China.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said, "China has kept its promises in the 10 years since entering the WTO. The average tariff has been lowered from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent. One hundred trading service departments have been opened. Abolished, amended and newly-released laws and regulations total more than 3,000."

China has attracted nearly 34,000 overseas companies in the 10 years of its membership in the WTO. They include global car makers, retail giants, multinational corporates and research and development centers. And alongside this foreign participation, Chinese companies have also grown in leaps and bounds.

Song Hong, head of International Trade, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, "When we entered the WTO, there weren't even 10 Chinese Fortune 500 companies. But now, we have more than 60 companies on that list, just behind the U.S. and Japan."

Ten years after entering the WTO, China now is the biggest exporter in the world, offering more than 900 products worldwide. And an average of $750 billion worth of imports every year means the creation of over 18 million job opportunities for China's global trading partners.

(CNTV.cn December 5, 2011)

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