China's eighth WTO Trade Policy Review took place on October 20 and 22. Previously, we reported on a few governments' statements that had been made public. The WTO has now circulated the minutes of the meeting for China's Trade Policy Review, which has detailed summaries of the statements of all the governments who spoke. At this meeting, many WTO Members commented on China's trade policies and practices, sometimes in harsher terms than in previous trade policy reviews. In this piece, we provide excerpts of the remarks by each Member that spoke, with the excerpt designed to illustrate the overall tone of the remarks.
We group the remarks into three broad categories: More Critical, Mix of Praise and Criticism, and Mostly Positive. To some degree, these categories are a bit rough, and it was difficult at times to fit each Member into a particular category. We found 6 Members' statements to merit a "More Critical" classification: Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. 25 Members fell into the "Mix of Praise and Criticism" category, including South Korea, India, Turkey, Norway, New Zealand, Mexico, and Singapore. And 34 Members were in the "Mostly Positive" category, including Russia, Argentina, the Philippines, Brunei on behalf of ASEAN, and Mauritius on behalf of the African group.
The Members are listed in each category in the order they appeared in the meeting minutes.
Unfortunately, since its last Review, China has increasingly tested global trade rules and norms by engaging in practices that are inconsistent with its WTO commitments. Australia is one of numerous WTO Members that has experienced this first-hand.
First, on transparency: A lack of transparency with regard to China’s state measures is a fundamental challenge to free and fair competition in the market.
Second, on market distorting measures: China’s market distorting measures and the resulting excess capacities, coupled with the challenges of a lack of transparency, are indeed detrimental to fair competition.
Third, on SOEs: We have a concern regarding China’s extensive intervention in the market through SOEs.
Fourth, on the lack of clarity in laws and regulations: Japan would also like to share its concern that many laws and regulations in China lack sufficient clarity to restrain excessive and arbitrary intervention in business activities.
When China acceded to the WTO 20 years ago, WTO Members expected that the terms set forth in China’s Protocol of Accession would permanently dismantle existing Chinese policies and practices that were incompatible with an international trading system expressly based on open, market-oriented policies. But those expectations have not been realized, and it appears that China has no inclination to change. Instead, China has used the imprimatur of WTO membership to become the WTO’s largest trader, while doubling down on its state-led, non-market approach to trade, to the detriment of workers and businesses in the United States and other countries.
Most troubling, Canada has noted a recent pattern regarding China’s growing willingness to deploy economic coercive measures to block or otherwise hinder trade in response to political disagreements. The use and threat of use of arbitrary, and discriminatory restrictions, or other commercial measures challenges and destabilizes the rules-based international order and its very institutions to which China, Canada and all WTO members have benefited. This troubling pattern is particularly evident in China’s use of TBT and SPS measures to block or otherwise hinder trade in response to political issues. For example, Canadian canola seed exports to China continue to be arbitrarily and unjustifiably restricted. That is why Canada has requested the establishment of a WTO panel on this matter.
We are also concerned about the centrality of state-owned enterprises to China’s industrial strategies, and the opacity of their operations. These SOEs number at around 326,000 and account for over 20 of China’s 25 largest businesses. This market dominance, and the way such SOEs operate, disadvantages both domestic private firms and foreign firms. We recall, in this context that China has committed through its Accession Protocol (and repeated in the Chinese government’s report to the WTO ahead of this review) not to interfere with the operation and management of state-owned enterprises.
The onus is on China to be much more transparent in demonstrating that state-owned enterprises operate as normal market actors.
European businesses are concerned about the increasing politicization of China’s business environment. Economic pressure on companies’ operations that seem motivated by political considerations runs against the spirit of the WTO.
Another concern is China’s expansive use of an excessively broad concept of national security, negatively affecting foreign companies.
Mix of Praise and Criticism
Viet Nam acknowledges the active contribution of China to the WTO and the world trade in general through its active and consistent participation in various processes ongoing in the WTO, including the discussions of WTO reform, negotiations on fisheries subsidies, among others.
... Only in the first 8 months of 2021, Viet Nam suffered a trade deficit of USD 38.6 billion, an increase of 75.87% over the same period last year. We do hope that the two countries could continue working closely toward a more balanced trade in the coming time.
To ensure an even more comprehensive integration of China into the WTO system, we support its accession to the GPA. Switzerland will continue to engage in this process in a constructive way.
We also note improvements with regard to the Chinese Foreign Investment regime. However, we encourage China to increase the predictability of conditions for investments and to undertake further liberalization efforts.
Today’s discussion is also an opportunity to raise some of our concerns, notably in the field of transparency. Switzerland regrets that notifications on key topics such as subsidies and quantitative restrictions, among others, are outstanding. Let me state it: transparency is a fundamental, non-negotiable principle of WTO rules. Transparency ensures predictability of the trading environment.
China's accession to the WTO in 2001 has been a significant milestone for the WTO and multilateralism as a whole. It brought many benefits to China, but at the same time, it resulted in increased responsibilities and expectations for China. With great power comes great responsibility.
Thailand also commends China's ongoing reform efforts, as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development (2021-2025), through China's trade policy framework in several areas, including continuously improving trade liberalization and facilitation, implementing a more proactive import policy, reducing overall customs clearance time for imports nationwide, reforming the IP regime, and amending the legislative framework for SPS-related issues.
However, Thailand remains deeply concerned about SPS issues, and we have submitted questions about this concern. We also attach great importance to smooth agriculture trade, given that China is currently Thailand's largest destination of Thai fruits. We encourage China to improve and facilitate border trade by increasing the number of ports and perishable products traffic lanes at each port, especially during high season.
... The Secretariat also notes that information on subsidies going beyond the 2019 notification was not made available. Some notifications remain outstanding, including those on state trading enterprises and domestic support. In this respect, the Secretariat points out that China’s most recent domestic support notification to the WTO covers the period up to 2016, and its notification under the Subsidies Agreement covers the period up to 2018.
We encourage China to update its notifications, including with respect to agricultural domestic support.
China is a key player in the WTO, and Brazil values China’s expressions of commitment to the preservation and the strengthening of the multilateral trading system. ...
... we commend China’s active participation in the various Joint Statement Initiatives (JSIs) at the WTO. As a leading proponent of the JSI on Investment Facilitation for Development, China has played an important in securing broad-based support from the WTO Membership, with over 100 co-sponsors. In a similar vein, we welcome China’s active participation in the JSI on E-Commerce. Given the progress that China has made in embracing the digital transformation, we hope that it will continue to support a high ambition and meaningful outcome in the JSI on E-Commerce.
Since transparency is a critical pillar of the WTO, we encourage China to improve its notifications on state trading enterprises and domestic support, as flagged in the Secretariat report. We have also requested China to provide more information concerning competition, intellectual property, trade facilitation, as well as investment and services liberalization. Additionally, we have requested China to elaborate on its regulations and future development plans for e-commerce and digital infrastructure, as well as energy and green development. We would greatly appreciate China’s responses to our questions.
Costa Rica recognizes China's role in the WTO multilateral trading system. We also view positively its integration into a number of joint initiatives, in areas such as electronic commerce, investment facilitation, MSMEs and the Information Technology Agreement and its expansion. We note China's constructive role in the discussions on the Bali Decision on Tariff Rate Quota Administration, and urge it to continue supporting work in the agricultural trade reform negotiations in the same spirit.
Costa Rica recognizes China's major role in world trade and the world economy, and in this connection is closely following the development of China's sanitary and phytosanitary regulatory system, as well as the various policies notified in the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade. On these issues, we urge China to continue working with Members to ensure that the implementation of non tariff measures has the least possible impact on trade, particularly in agricultural products.
Both Norway and China are shipbuilding nations with many common interests. Norway has appreciated the cooperation with China in the International Working Group on Export Credits (IWG) on guidelines for the global ship building sector. It is unfortunate that negotiations were suspended in 2020, and we hope that negotiations can be resumed in the not-too-distant future.
Turning to China’s implementation of and adherence to WTO commitments and obligations, permit me to point to some issues of concern.
In the area of IPR protection, China has made some progress in recent years, but infringements remain an issue, and the appeals processes for claiming wrongful use of IPR, patents and trademarks can be complicated and time consuming.
On specific trade issues, we recognize China's efforts to expand its network of trade agreements and its liberalization of trade in services. However, I would like to point out that, with regard to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, in particular the emergency measures on cold chain food imports imposed to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 virus, Mexico continues to be concerned about the lack of evidence and science-based justification that the virus is transmitted in food or food packaging. Therefore, we hope that China will provide the supporting scientific information or, if appropriate, withdraw these measures.
we note the importance that China attaches to the multilateral trading system and the active role it plays in WTO discussions. We also note that China has been supporting the inclusion of new issues in the multilateral system, as mentioned in the reports of both the Secretariat and the Government, by participating in various plurilateral initiatives. In addition, and very importantly for those of us who seek a rules based dispute settlement process, it is noteworthy that China is a member of the MPIA. Thus, not only is China a regular user of the Dispute Settlement System, but we highlight the importance it has given to seeking alternatives with other countries that allow for a two tier system in which rules are at the centre of the resolution of trade crises. Moreover, China is also an active Member in disputes and negotiations. On transparency, we urge the Chinese Government to continue and strengthen its active approach to submitting notifications to the WTO and hope that they can update notifications of particular significance, including those relating to state trading enterprises, domestic support to the agricultural sector and fisheries subsidies.
In the multilateral framework, China's active participation in various WTO issues is noteworthy, as the country places great emphasis on the importance of the WTO as the multilateral system's forum for agreeing disciplines and commitments aimed at reducing international barriers to trade. It is especially active on several negotiating fronts, including fisheries subsidies, agriculture, and domestic regulation.
We commend China on the significant number of notifications it has submitted to the WTO Secretariat during the review period. However, it should be noted that some notifications remain outstanding and we encourage the Chinese authorities to comply with their transparency commitments.
We welcome China’s stated commitment to continued trade liberalization, and commend the reforms undertaken during the review period, including such measures as tariff reductions, continued expansion of Pilot Free Trade Zones, trade facilitation initiatives, expansion of the single window, and the introduction of a negative list regime for foreign investment.
... New Zealand is concerned with trade measures by WTO members that cause widespread disruption to trade and lack transparency, and underlines its concern in this regard about the actions undertaken against a range of Australian exports, including wine, lobster, and beef. These measures risk to undermine the rules-based trading system on which we all rely, and which New Zealand sees as the responsibility of all large members to support. New Zealand urges China to engage with Australia to resolve these issues in a manner that is consistent with its WTO commitments.
On trade liberalization, China's simple average applied MFN rate was lowered from 9.3% in 2017 to 7.1% in 2021, and the percentage of tariff lines bearing rates higher than 15% lowered from 13.9% in 2017 to 4.5% in 2021. We commend the efforts and would encourage China to continue its endeavour toward this direction.
Meanwhile, we noted during the review period, China had been involved in 11 trade disputes as respondent, 25 Special Trade Concerns on TBT and 13 on SPS. We urge China to positively respond to Members’ enquiries and requests for consultations, and to remove unnecessary trade restrictions that are inconsistent with WTO rules.
Iceland appreciates China’s stated commitment to open trade and the multilateral trading system. To achieve that shared goal, we expect China to fully abide by its WTO commitments, to protect the rights of workers and to accelerate reform measures to promote a more level playing field in key sectors.
Bangladesh highly values its relationship with China which happens to be its largest trading partner. However, the bilateral trade between the two countries is heavily tilted to China.
Indonesia recalls that China has been pursuing comprehensive cooperation in Free Trade Areas (FTA) alongside its commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system. Indonesia, China and 13 other countries has signed the establishment of Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP), which aimed for facilitation of trade and investment, enhanced transparency in trade and investment, broaden and deepen the engagement among parties and to enhance parties’ participation in economic development of the region.
Referring to Secretariat report, Indonesia learns that China has issued regulation to maintain import prohibition with complex requirements and procedures on wild animal to the pandemic while it also applied several incentives programmes which provided for certain sectors. Indonesia also notice that China has notified its new regulations, namely Decree 248 and Decree 249 that require the importers to include a registration number on packaging.
China’s legal framework for intellectual property rights has been improving. This is encouraging but we see that abusive practices by private commercial actors that disrupt market order, such as bad-faith trademark registration and trademark abuse, still persist. These practices, if allowed to continue, run the risk of hampering seriously a fair business environment and the protection of consumers. Korea calls on China to strengthen the supervision and enforcement efforts over actions that infringe upon intellectual property rights.
China with its large share in international trade and world economy is a key driver of global trade and growth. Therefore, it’s role in world trade and policies, both in the bilateral context as well as with in the multilateral trading system assumes great importance. We welcome the participation of China in this transparency exercise at the WTO, which provides the Members an opportunity to provide their frank assessment of the trade policies of the reviewed Member.
... exports from India, particularly the agriculture products have long faced significant challenges and market entry barriers due to the stringent and often opaque regulatory requirements.
China is an active participant in the Joint Statement Initiatives on e-commerce; investment facilitation; MSMEs; and domestic regulation in services.
Although China ranks second in Turkey’s foreign trade, the trade balance is heavily in China’s favour. We want to narrow bilateral trade deficit and establish balanced and sustainable trade relations with China.
We note the participation of the Chinese delegation in the various WTO committees and in the joint statement initiatives on investment facilitation for development, micro, small and medium sized enterprises and domestic regulation in services.
On transparency issues, China submitted notifications to the WTO during the review period. Nevertheless, some notifications, including those on state trading enterprises and domestic support, remain outstanding.
Egypt regards China as an integral development partner, as it is our largest individual trade partner, and a pivotal investor in several mega-projects, including infrastructure, the New Administrative Capital, as well as in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. However, we strongly encourage China to intensify bilateral cooperation and extend it to wider areas in trade and investment where considerable potential remains untapped.
We highlight that bilateral trade value grew by 9% to record USD 14 million in 2020, yet the value of Egyptian exports to China witnessed a decrease during the same period. In this regard, we note the difficulties faced by Egyptian exporters of some agricultural and processed agricultural products due to the prolonged duration by the relevant Chinese authorities to grant the required approvals, as in the case of dried dates and semi-dried dates. We also refer to the pending request submitted by Egypt in 2019 for granting market access to our exports of pomegranates to the Chinese market, for which no feedback has been received as of yet. In this context, we call upon China to facilitate and accelerate procedures of granting market access to agricultural exports.
Mongolia expresses sincere gratitude for China’s assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and commends China’s economy’s strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heavily affected the world economy.
Mongolia would greatly appreciate if China could provide further information to the questions below:
1. China is one of the largest transit countries on the territory of which the world’s largest ports are located. Given the experience gained during the pandemic, what lessons have been learned to prevent a situation where, for various reasons, ports are not able to use their capacity and thus creating disruptions in the global supply chain?
I would like to note, in this connection, that China's investments in Peru are considerable, and cover a range of different sectors of our economy, such as mining and construction. My country is sure that China will continue in its efforts to ensure that its investments in Peru contribute to the sustainable and environmentally friendly development to which my country aspires.
Peru notes and will follow with interest two points contained in the reports that form part of the present review. On the one hand, China's new policy to end subsidies for fuel and shipbuilding, as well as to improve the prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; and, on the other hand, the announced adjustment of China's energy mix, based primarily on the development of clean and low carbon energies.
my country recognizes that China was one of the first friendly countries to participate in the solidarity effort that enabled Tunisia to emerge from a serious health crisis. We will work to institutionalize this cooperation with China as part of Tunisia's desire to make the most of its know-how and production capacities in the quest to increase the global production of vaccines.
We note, moreover, that the review period has shown in particular the development of international investment by China, which has pursued an active policy of attracting local and foreign investment, but also of opening up to the world by increasing the number of agreements concluded with various partners. This demonstrates China's dominant role in the multilateral trading system and in regional trade agreements.
In this respect, China, a very active WTO member, could play a leading role in the conclusion of several agreements currently being negotiated, including electronic commerce and the sustainability of fisheries.
We particularly note China’s commitment in creating a global network of RTAs including the recently signed regional comprehensive economic partnership Agreement towards consolidating economic and trade ties with its trading partners. This signifies China’s commitment to promoting free trade.
On intellectual property, we urge China to increase its efforts in regulating IP within the country.
China’s is an exceptional story – a story that has continued its success during the review period of the current TPR. Through the implementation of a new developmental paradigm, China has remarkably lifted out of poverty, all of its remaining 100 million rural people living below the poverty line. China has met the target of poverty eradication set by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a good 10 years ahead of schedule!
Russia commends China for the important leadership role in the WTO. We highly appreciate and share Beijing's continuous support for multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO, which is consistently voiced in BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, G20, APEC and other international fora.
... we wish this Review a complete success.
We also appreciate China’s firm commitment to supporting and strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system. At a time when the WTO is facing unprecedented challenges and global trade is striving to recover from the pandemic, this is the commitment and engagement that are mostly needed from every Member of the WTO.
Argentina wishes to emphasize that together with China it shares:
(i) the vision that multilateralism must contribute to developing instruments that will enable us to build a shared future for all, taking into account the particular circumstances of developing countries;
(ii) the conviction that sustainable development must be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to correct past inequities and to avoid establishing future inequities; and
(iii) the idea that the road to development can only be travelled by building trust, good faith and strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation, based on frank and fraternal dialogue
Oman also welcomes China’s wide-ranging reforms that included its intellectual property (IP) regime and the improvement in trade facilitation initiatives introduced since 2015.
Our steadily growing economic and trade relationship has been accompanied by a number of joint projects, in particular, in the areas of infrastructure, energy and energy efficiency, agricultural sector etc. One of the examples of agreements reached in those fields is the signing of the Program of Cooperation between Ukraine and China in the framework of the joint construction of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.
Since its accession to the WTO in 2001, China has been an active participant in the various works of the WTO. It also played an important role in hosting the Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting in Shanghai in November 2019 where Ministers exchanged ideas on issues safeguarding the multilateral trading system, working towards a successful 12th Ministerial Conference (M12) and supporting the necessary reform of the WTO.
This Trade Policy Review has brought to light China's swift fiscal and monetary policy reactions that helped to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. However, as a result of stabilization measures, financial stability risks may have increased, which will be a major challenge for the near future.
We also praise China for its performance in many areas such as its continued expansion of its international trade and investments, its performance in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) both inward and outward, adoption of new Foreign Investment Law and new Export Control Law, availability of various tax incentives to foreign-invested enterprises, reduction of its tariff-rate in nearly all product categories, liberalization in mining sector and financial sector to increase foreign participation, its revision to the various laws and regulations related to TBT and SPS, its reforms to the intellectual property regime. Maintaining low inflation rates during the period under review, and its role as being a leading supplier of protective health equipment is commended as well.
Brunei on behalf of ASEAN:
ASEAN also acknowledges the important contributions by China in strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO), including on the subject of WTO reform. Together with China, ASEAN reaffirms our strong commitment to uphold an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO.
In this respect, we join others to commend China for actively engaging in the WTO processes and assuming a leading role, not only in the multilateral trading system, but also in the regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
We commend China on adopting a number of trade facilitation measures for import registration, documentation and inspection requirements, as well as in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. The national single window for international trade has been expanded and the overall time for customs clearance of imports throughout the country has been reduced.
On the way forward, the Lao PDR looks forward to closely working with China and our ASEAN member States as well as the Four other ASEAN Dialogue Partners to have the signed RCEP agreement fully and effective realized. Furthermore, the Lao PDR looks forward to cooperating with China in digital transformation, including to help MSMEs with digital platforms to improve their productivity and competitiveness as well as to harness ICT to facilitate the flow and movement of trade, investment, and people along the international cross-border checkpoints and East-West and North-South Economic Corridors.
Cambodia is also one of main recipients of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which Cambodia attaches great importance to due to its significant contribution to development and economic growth, especially poverty alleviation. Cambodia will also look to utilize the BRI to further improve Cambodia’s infrastructure and strengthen our competitiveness. This is evidenced in the building of the first express way linking capital city of Phnom Penh to the seaport town of Sihanoukville, the construction of the new airports in Phnom Penh and the tourism town of Siem Reap and many other projects.
Mauritius on behalf of the African group:
China has always been an active player in the multilateral trading system on all fronts, including in the WTO discussions for the elimination of fisheries subsidies. We think China could play an important role here by taking the lead for a green fisheries policy and we note gladly from the Secretariat report “that the Chinese authorities indicate that the Government will shortly issue a new policy to terminate fuel and boat construction subsidies with the last of these pay-outs being made at end 2020”. We call on all Members to contribute to the prohibition of harmful subsidies and for the restoration of fish stocks globally.
We are therefore encouraged by the findings of the report, that during the review period, China continued to aim at expanding international trade and investments, as outlined in Five-Year Plans and various Administrative Measures.
We appreciate China’s steadfast commitment to upholding the multilateral trading system, through its active participation in the work of the WTO and for its solidarity with fellow developing countries. We note that China has been actively involved in the discussions on WTO reform; negotiations on fisheries subsidies; agriculture; special and differential treatment and has been contributing to efforts aimed at addressing current challenges faced by the dispute settlement mechanism, including the Appellate Body. Its thrust to deepen global economic integration beyond the WTO through, inter alia, increased regional trade and the conclusion approximately 19 regional trade agreements, is worth noting.
Of course, critics will always find fault, will always characterize your efforts as inadequate and will always demand deeper and faster reform.
The important thing is to continue down the path of reform, at a pace and to a depth which is manageable for yourselves and which will not cause any major internal discomfort or turbulence.
We recognize China's constructive engagement in the work of the WTO. Particularly, we appreciate China's contribution into the discussions on fisheries subsidies, on agriculture, trade and health, WTO's response to the pandemic, and women's economic empowerment. We also welcome China's active participation in major Joint Statement Initiative negotiations on investment facilitation, domestic regulation in services, and e-commerce.
The Republic of Tajikistan commends China’s support to combat the COVID-19 and the contribution to ensure the sustainable economic development and implementing important infrastructure projects and its interest to continue the partnership and strategic relations between the two countries. The expansion of trade cooperation with China is in the interest of both States. In this regard, it is important to make use of available opportunities for the development of trade relations between Tajikistan and China.
At the bilateral level, on 3 February 1988, Uruguay and China established diplomatic relations. Since then, bilateral relations have developed fruitfully and steadily. The two countries have maintained high level contacts and economic and trade cooperation has steadily increased, with China currently being Uruguay's main trading partner. In this regard, the celebration of 30 years of diplomatic relations between Uruguay and China in 2018, which was an opportunity to raise the issues of highest priority for our countries, is of great importance. At that time, it was noted that in 30 years of diplomatic relations, trade had grown 40 times. It should be noted that Uruguay and China have signed a significant number of agreements, memorandums of understanding, protocols and minutes that reflect the intensity of the bilateral economic and trade relationship, and we advocate continuing expanding our relationship.
From the reports, China will continue to strengthen South South cooperation, by contributing to poverty eradication, debt relief and economic growth of developing Members, and strengthening cooperation in agriculture, health, disaster mitigation and water resources.
We are pleased to see that China continues to deepen its market-oriented reforms, moving in the direction of liberalization and simplification of its procedures, including customs reforms, which will contribute into removing of trade barriers.
Since the beginning of its Membership to the WTO, China has demonstrated its highest of dedications to the WTO rules and has continuously shown its commitment to trade liberalization under the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO.
China's fiscal and monetary policy reactions, as reported, and also with Uganda, have helped mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As China plans to build a network of high-standard FTAs to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, Uganda is already witnessing the benefits of this particular low-hanging fruit.
My delegation sincerely appreciates China’s assistance in Nepal’s development efforts in the areas of infrastructure building, industrialization process, human resources development, health, education, water resources, sports and the like.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, new avenues have opened up for bilateral cooperation in mutually agreed areas.
Ecuador joining the Belt and Road initiative in December 2018 and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in November 2019 has made it possible to boost cooperation with China, promote direct investment, generate efficient digital economy networks and launch new links between countries in the Asia Pacific region with a view to improving trade routes and opening new markets. All of this is very positive for Ecuador at a time when the global public health crisis has had a serious impact on trade expectations.
It is commendable that China has fulfilled all its notification obligations under all WTO Agreements. As the largest developing member, China has made significant progress in subsidy notification, which is the most difficult exercise in terms of data collection process. China has further streamlined import administration procedures and continuously lowered import tariffs which are beneficial for developing countries, in particular the LDCs.
We share with China the vision of strengthening multilateralism and reaching consensus to contribute to the innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development of all, taking into account the particular circumstances and needs of developing countries and landlocked developing countries in terms of their specific challenges in developing their trade potential.
my country, Cabo Verde, welcomes the adoption of measures by the Chinese authorities aimed at further increasing growth in domestic demand and encouraging the expansion of services, as well as substantial reforms to the liberalization of trade and investment regimes in order to better promote competition.
statistics show that Angola still is the leading African exporter to China, due to the significant crude oil sales, accounting for 98% of bilateral exports and more than 60% of this national sector participation in the world market. At the same time, Angola is the second main destination of Chinese investment in Africa and a substantial financial loans recipient.
Chad on behalf of the LDC Group:
With regard to trade relations with LDCs, China is our largest trading partner in terms of value and our WTO Group welcomes the initiatives taken by China, in particular since the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005, to develop trade and market access.
Myanmar believes China as the strong supporter of multilateral trading system and would like to thank China for its contributions under South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund for developing members to implement their agendas according to UNSDG and China Programme in WTO to help developing members integrate into and benefit from multilateral trading system. In addition, Myanmar would like to express China’s preferential Tariff Treatment for LDC members to integrate into international trading system.
Another aspect that we would like to highlight in China is the Belt and Road initiative, through which the country promotes the principle of pursuing shared benefits through consultation and collaboration, promoting cooperation with all parties. In this regard, Venezuela has joined in various events, areas and sectors where this initiative is being rolled out, in the search for global balance in trade.