|Statement by Mr. YAO Wenlong, Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations, at the Second Committee of 62nd GA Session on Agenda Item 52(a): International Trade and Development|
|(New York, 26 October 2007)|
The Chinese delegation wishes to thank Dr. Supachai, Secretary General of UNCTAD, for his presentation of this agenda item and associates itself with the statement by Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
In 2006, the continued steady growth of the world economy, the deepening of economic globalization and the intensification of regional economic cooperation have brought about new opportunities for the development of all countries. The world economy grew by 5.4% in 2006, having maintained its steady growth for the fifth consecutive year. Developing countries' share in world output increased to 23 % and their per capita income rose by over 5%. We should be clearly aware, however, of the unevenness of development among countries, the problems of an imbalanced world economy requiring urgent solution, the growing challenges accompanying globalization, the widening gap between the North and the South, climate change and other increasingly prominent non-conventional challenges, and the daunting challenges and potential risks confronting the developing countries, especially the least developed countries, in their quest for sustainable development.
It has become a wide consensus of the international community that trade is an engine of development. In recent years, thanks to the growth of the world economy, rising commodity prices and the expansion of South-South trade, the participation of the developing countries in international trade has been increasing and the important role of trade in promoting development has become ever more salient. From 2000-2005, export growth accounted for over 60 % of the GDP growth of the developing countries and over 40 % of that of the least developed countries. However, the international trade environment for the participation of the developing countries, the LDCs in particular, has not seen tangible improvements. The Doha Round negotiations have stalled; trade protectionism is on the rise and so are trade frictions; and trade preferences are at the risk of being eroded. The international community should work together to create an international trade environment favorable to development, expand the tariff-free and quota-free market access for the LDCs, and provide them with technical assistance to help them enhance trade related capacity building.
In order to give full play to the role of trade as an engine of development, it is essential to successfully conclude the Doha Round negotiations at an early date so as to ensure that the developing members really benefit from their participation in the multilateral trading system. An open, fair, equitable, reasonable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system is beneficial to a balanced and harmonious development of the world economy. While there are no winners in the failure of the Doha Round, its success will benefit all. The rise of the developing countries constitutes a major trend of the current international trade. Attention to and solution of development issues represent an important yardstick for measuring whether the multilateral trading system is fair and reasonable. The Doha Round should keep development at its core, take into full account levels of development and capacity of the developing members and give effective expression to their development needs and special concerns.
Right now, the Doha Round is standing at a critical juncture. Parties are engaged in intensive consultations in Geneva on issues such as agriculture, non-agricultural market access, services and intellectual property with the level, intensity and depth of the negotiations steadily increasing. It is our hope that various parties maintain this momentum and that major developed members show political will and flexibility, eliminate the trade-distorting farm product subsidies and take substantive measures to remove market access barriers, all with a view to facilitating the success of the negotiations. China will continue to cooperate closely with other members and play a constructive role in pushing for an early, comprehensive and balanced outcome of the negotiations.
The UN system should continue to increase its attention to and input in trade and development related issues. As a major organ of the UN system addressing trade and development and related issues, UNCTAD should undertake greater responsibilities and play a bigger role. The 12th Session of UNCTAD to be held next April in Ghana will present us with a rare opportunity. We call on all relevant parties, in view of the present world economic and trade situation and development trends, to work together to further reinforce the three major functions of UNCTAD, define the future direction of its work, make use of its comparative advantages, and strengthen its work at the international, regional and national levels so that UNCTAD can play an even greater role in the realm of trade and development. Meanwhile, we hope all parties will avail themselves of this opportunity to reach wide consensus on major issues concerning the world economy and trade and make positive contributions to the promotion of the Doha Round and the solution of the development issues facing the developing countries.
China has been committed to pushing for the establishment of a development-oriented international trading system to advance development through trade and reduce poverty through development. In recent years, the Chinese government has vigorously increased import, continuously reduced tariffs, and, on numerous occasions, expanded tariff and quota free coverage applicable to products of the least developed countries and African states. By 2010, it is estimated that China will see its annual import volume in excess of one trillion US dollars, making it possibly the second largest import market of the world. China's economic development will provide vast space for the development of other countries. The Chinese government will continue to strengthen the mutually beneficial and win-win economic and trade cooperation with all countries and join hands with them in building a harmonious world of common development and universal prosperity.
Thank you, Madam Chair.