|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at 2nd Committee of UNGA 61st session on agenda item 51 (a): International Trade and Development|
The Chinese delegation would like to thank Mr. Supachai, the Secretary General of UNCTAD, for his presentation on the current agenda item. It associates itself with the statement made by the representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The period of 2005-2006 witnessed further economic globalization and phenomenal scientific and technological progress. The new cycle of growth of global transnational direct investment brought new opportunities for the development of various countries. At present, the encouraging development momentum of world's major economies has quickened the pace of global economic recovery. The transfer of high-tech and high value-added manufacturing and R&D away from the developed countries and the outsourcing of services have become the key driving force for a new round of world economic restructuring and the growth of FDI. At the same time, however, we must not lose sight of the widening gap between the North and the South, the increasing imbalances in world economic development and the rising protectionism with its new manifestations, all of which are posing a formidable challenge to the economic development of developing countries, particularly that of the least developed countries.
Trade is an engine for development and an open international trade will bring genuine and meaningful benefits to the developing countries and the impoverished populations in those countries. According to the estimates by the World Bank and IMF, if the WTO's Doha round of trade negotiations achieved success, 140 million people in the world would be lifted out of poverty in the next decade as a result. In December 2005, important progress was made at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong on questions like removing export subsidies for agricultural products, assigning priority to addressing the issue of cotton, granting tariff and quota-free access to the LDCs and exercising flexibility in reducing tariffs for non-agricultural products. Regrettably, that momentum has not been maintained as evidenced by the indefinite suspension of the Doha Round in July, 2006 and the ensuing putting on hold of many issues of particular concern to developing countries, such as special and differentiated treatment, dismantling of non-tariff barriers, erosion of preferences and granting tariff and quota-free access to the LDCs.
The deadlocked Doha negotiations and the grave crisis confronting the multilateral trading system are detrimental to the steady development of world economy and orderly conduct of international trade. This is a matter of grave concern to us. We call for the early resumption of the Doha Round and hope that the developed countries demonstrate political will and show further flexibility with respect to reducing trade-distorting domestic support to agriculture and lowering tariffs. We stand ready to work with others for an early resumption of the Doha Round so that it could achieve success to benefit the world people.
The Chinese government has always stood for the establishment of a fair, equitable, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system favorable to the long-term and stable development of world economy and trade. Such a system as represented by the WTO plays an indispensable role in improving the stability and predictability of the world trade environment, and is of great significance to the growth of world economy and the achievement of the MDGs. China firmly supports this multilateral trading system and will continue to take an active and constructive part in the work of the WTO.
The mid-term review carried out by UNCTAD XI made a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of the Sao Paulo Consensus, which is of great importance to the strengthening of the functions of UNCTAD and the clarification of the direction of its future work. Since its establishment in 1964, UNCTAD has been playing a crucial role in promoting the development of developing countries. Today, with the deepening economic globalization and regional integration, we expect UNCTAD to further improve its policy research and analysis centering around the new issues facing the developing countries, in light of the new situation in the areas of trade, investment and development, so as to provide the developing countries with more relevant policy recommendations, thus helping them to better cope with their development challenges.
China is in the process of implementing its "Eleventh Five-Year Plan", which will lead to further opening of the Chinese market. While continuing to open such sectors as tourism, telecommunication, transport, accounting and legal services, China will fully open its banking sector at the end of this year. After its accession to the WTO, China has already removed all non-tariff measures and reduced tariffs across the board. As China's economy develops and its economic restructuring deepens, the Chinese market will bring more opportunities to the countries of the world. China will adhere to its path of peaceful development, uphold its policy of economic and trade cooperation that aims at achieving mutual benefit and win-for-all results and contribute to the development of all countries in the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.