|Statement by Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations on Item 51 (a) "International Trade and Development" at the Second Committee of the 64th Session of the General Assembly|
New York, 29 October 2009
The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report submitted under this agenda item. We support the statement made by the Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China.
The financial crisis has wreaked havoc in the world over the past year, causing drastic decline of the world economy. International trade is experiencing a particularly sharp drop; trade financing has become more difficult; trade protectionism has been on a marked rise; and trade barriers have multiplied. According to the estimate of the WTO, international trade declined by about 10% in 2009, which is a far greater scale than that of the world economic decline and will be the biggest annual decline since the end of the Second World War. What is more disturbing is that the consensus of the international community against trade protectionism has not been effectively put into practice. Instead, the momentum of international trade protectionism has clearly been gathering force recently. Developing countries, especially the least developed countries, find the external environment for their participation in international trade much harsher and their task of trade for development more arduous. In view of this, the international community should be more resolute in opposing all forms of trade protectionism and work harder to create an international trade system favorable to development.
Against the backdrop of economic globalization, the economies of different countries are highly interdependent. Trade protectionism is detrimental not only to the economic recovery of countries, but also to the long-term development of their economies. Developing countries suffer the most from the contraction of international trade and the rise of trade protectionism. Maintaining free and orderly international trade is an essential and effective way to help developing countries cope with the crisis and achieve economic recovery. In this connection, China suggests that the international community strengthen efforts in the following aspects:
Firstly, firmly oppose trade protectionism. The international community should effectively implement the consensus reached at the UN High-Level Conference on World Financial and Economic Crisis and firmly oppose all forms of trade protectionism. No measure to respond to crisis or stimulate the economy should affect or limit normal trade. Major economies should particularly set an example by taking real actions to maintain an open and equitable international trade environment.
Secondly, actively promote the Doha negotiations. An early conclusion and comprehensive and balanced result of the Doha negotiations will be conducive to curbing trade protectionism and promoting world economic recovery and favorable to helping developing countries overcome their difficulties. The international community should keep the positive momentum of the re-launching of the negotiations, maintain the “development round” character of the Doha round, give priority attention to the special concerns of developing members, especially the least developed members, and strive for a successful conclusion of the negotiations before 2010.
Thirdly, improve trade financing. Trade financing is the lubricant for international trade. About 90% of international trade is in need of financing support. The international community should be fully aware of the serious impediment posed by tight trade financing to international trade recovery and work to increase financing resources, lower financing costs and develop innovative ways of financing. Particular attention should be given to increasing support for trade financing for small and medium-sized enterprises and the LDCs.
Fourthly, energetically support the LDCs. As estimated by UNCTAD, the trade decline rate of the LDCs in 2009 is as steep as 9-16%, more than the average decline rate of developing countries. Moreover, wild fluctuations of international commodity prices have plunged the LDCs which are heavily dependent on commodity trade into severe difficulties. Therefore, the international community should resolutely combat speculations on the commodity market, establish at an early date a fair and reasonable trade order for commodities, provide greater market access to the exports of the LDCs, and help them to enhance their capacity to take full advantage of trade preferences.
Fifthly, strengthen the work of UNCTAD. As an important organ of the UN system responsible for addressing trade and development and related issues in an integrated manner, UNCTAD should fully use its comparative advantage and continuously strengthen its three functions of policy research
and analysis, consensus building and technical assistance, so as to further contribute to the trade for development endeavor of developing countries.
China is always committed to the establishment of an open, fair, equitable, reasonable and non-discriminatory international trade system and has always opposed by words and deeds all forms of trade protectionism. At present, China's overall tariff rate is 9.8%, of which the average tariff rate for agricultural products is 15.2%, only one quarter of the world's average. From 2002 to 2008, China's accumulated import amounted to $4.8 trillion with an average annual growth rate of 25.1%. Right now, China is the third largest importer of the world. Since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis, China has taken practical actions to oppose trade protectionism and actively pushed for the reaching of the consensus against trade protectionism by the international community. In implementing its domestic economic stimulus measures, China has complied strictly with the relevant WTO rules, given equal treatment to domestic and foreign products and provided numerous business opportunities to foreign enterprises. China has also greatly strengthened external economic and trade cooperation, honored in a comprehensive and timely manner its commitments to the LDCs in terms of trade preferences, and worked actively to promote regional trade liberalization processes such as China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, all with a view to promoting trade with other countries. The fair and open trade policy adopted by china has already brought benefits to the economic recovery of the countries concerned. The Chinese government will continue to strengthen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation with other countries in the field of economy and trade and strive with the rest of the international community for a harmonious world of common development and universal prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.