|Statement By Mr. Yao Wenlong, Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the UN, at 2nd Committee of UNGA 60th Session on Agenda Item 52(a): International Trade and Development|
The Chinese Delegation would like to congratulate Dr. Supachai for his assumption, on September 1st of this year, of the office of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD. It is our hope that under his leadership, UNCTAD will continue to demonstrate its strength in policy research and analysis as well as technical cooperation, help its developing members to participate effectively in the Doha Round, and further accelerate its process.
The Chinese Delegation has studied carefully the Secretary-General's report submitted under the agenda item of International Trade and Development. We would like to thank Dr. Supachai for his introduction to this item. We also subscribe to the statement made by the representative of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
In 2005, the world economy has seen sustained momentum of growth with direct foreign investment rebounding, international trade increasing, economic globalization deepening, and regional economic integration accelerating. However, in some developed countries, trade protectionism is on the rise: trade barriers, government subsidies distorting international trade and other measures of similar nature have been going up steadily, hindering the normal development of international trade.
Yet trade is the key to development. An open international trade can bring about solid benefits to the developing countries and poverty-stricken populations. Right now, the Doha Round is at a crucial point. The first approximation was not reached at the WTO negotiations last July, which will affect negatively both the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong in December this year and the efforts for completing the Doha Round by the end of 2006. The Chinese Delegation calls on all members to demonstrate greater political will and flexibility, improve communication and cooperation, and adopt new measures to actively push for progress in the Doha Round so as to eventually reach a balanced multilateral trade agreement true to the Doha spirit.
The Chinese Delegation has always advocated the establishment of a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trade system conducive to the long-term stable development of world economy and trade. The new rules of free trade should fully embody the principles of equality, mutual benefit, openness and win for all, and they should be more transparent and fair. Now, I wish to share my views with you on some Doha-Round related issues.
1. Agriculture: Negotiations on agriculture is the key to the whole Doha process. For the Doha Round to reach a final agreement, the current serious distortion to the trade in agricultural products must be rectified. All parties should actively push for substantive headways in trade liberalization of agricultural products, reduce domestic subsidies distorting that trade, and set an early and specific timetable for eliminating export subsidies.
2. Market access of non-agricultural products: According to UNCTAD estimates, liberalization of trade on non-agricultural products would bring about an annual benefit of 20-60 billion US dollars to the developing countries. There is still a long way to go in the liberalization of and tariff rationalization in the trade in non-agricultural products. Therefore, market access of non-agricultural products calls for an early agreement on the equation of tariff reduction so as to drastically lower tariff peaks and tariff escalation.
3. Services: As a result of economic globalization, trade in services has experienced explosive growth. From 1980 to 2004, the total global service trade grew from 360 billion US dollars to 2,100 billion US dollars. It is our hope that the developed members assume their due responsibilities and, in trade negotiations on services, give priority consideration to opening up areas in which the developing countries have comparative advantages such as the migration of natural persons. The special situations of new members must be taken into consideration.
4. Development: The theme of development should come out prominently in all areas of the Doha Round. Negotiations should give consideration to both the demand of the developed countries for promoting trade liberalization and the practical interests of the developing and new members which they must protect. Adequate policy space and special differential treatment should be given to the developing members. China supports giving priority to the implementation of special and differential treatments for the least developed countries, but is opposed to dividing the developing countries into different categories.
5. Trade facilitation: Trade facilitation is an important propelling force for development. Countries should make energetic efforts to improve efficiency of their customs while paying attention to the balance between trade safety and trade facilitation. Compared with their developed counterparts, the developing countries are faced with greater difficulties and challenges in executing trade facilitation due to lack of capacity as well as high cost. It is therefore necessary to increase technical assistance to the developing countries, the LDCs in particular, and help and support them in capability building.
China is about to start its 11th Five-Year-Plan, and its foreign economic and trade cooperation will get onto a new height both in depth and in scale. China will continue to adhere to its basic national policy of reform and opening up to the outside world, strengthen its economic and trade cooperation with other countries and make its contributions to the joint efforts of the international community in advancing the Doha Round and in establishing a fairer and freer global trade system.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.