Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of PRC Shi Guangsheng
February 1, 2002 Brussels
Respected Chairman De Wit, Respected Lord Powell, Ladies and Gentlemen,
谢谢德威特主席热情洋溢的欢迎辞，感谢欧中贸协和比中经贸理事会的盛情邀请和热情款待。I'd like to thank Chairman De Wit for his very warm welcome remarks and my thanks also go to the Europe-China Business Association and the Belgium Chinese Economic and Commercial Council for the kind invitation and warm hospitality.
我非常高兴有机会出席这次欧中贸协与比中经贸理事会联合举行的午餐报告会。欧盟企业界朋友们，都非常关注中国经济的发展，尤其是加入世贸组织之后，中国的市场环境及其经济发展前景。在此，我愿意向朋友们介绍这些方面的情况。I'm very delighted to have the opportunity to be at this reception jointly hosted by EU-China Business Association and Belgium Chinese Economic and Commercial Council. As our friends from the European business community pay close attention to China's economic development, in particular China's market climate and the economic prospect after its WTO accession, I'd like to share with you brief information in this respect.
女士们，先生们：Ladies and gentlemen,
Reform and opening up to the outside world constitutes a basic long-term state policy that China adheres to. 20 odd years' reform and development has brought about profound changes to the Chinese economy. First, China has transformed from a planned economy to a socialist market economy. Second, China's comprehensive national power has been remarkably strengthened, with its GDP ranking the 6th largest in the world. Third, an overall opening pattern has been formed up. China is now the 7th largest trading nation in terms of total trade volume, and the largest foreign investment recipient among developing countries for 9 straight years as more than 400 transnational corporations of the world top 500 have invested in China.
近年来，面对世界经济贸易增长减缓，中国政府继续实施积极的财政政策和稳健的货币政策，立足于扩大内需，中国经济依然保持了良好的发展势头。2001年，中国经济实现了7.3%增长；进出口贸易总额增长了7.5%，实际吸收外资增长14.9%，年末外汇储备达到2122亿美元。从新世纪开始，中国进入加快推进现代化建设的新的发展阶段，经济将继续在快增长、高效益、低通胀的良性循环轨道上运行。Against the backdrop of the international economic and trade g slowdown in recent years, the Chinese government continues to implement the proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, and hence the Chinese economy maintained a sound momentum of development. The Chinese economy realized a 7.3% growth in 2001, import and export trade grew by 7.5%, actual foreign investment increased by 14.9%, and foreign exchange reserve reached USD212.2 billion at the end of that year. Stepping into a brand new stage of modernization from the very beginning of the new century, China is expected to see an economic development on sound track of rapid growth, high efficiency, and low inflation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
加入世界贸易组织，是中国对外开放和现代化建设进程中具有历史性意义的一件大事。在此，我要向包括欧盟企业家在内的所有支持中国加入世界贸易组织的朋友表示感谢。中国加入世贸组织，充分反映了中国政府进一步深化改革、扩大开放的坚定决心，体现了中国重视发展与世界各国经济贸易合作的积极姿态，标志着中国的对外开放进入了一个新的阶段,必将对新世纪的中国经济和世界经济的发展产生广泛而深远的影响。Accession to the World Trade Organization is a great event of historic significance for China's opening and modernization. So I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to friends who have supported China's accession to the WTO, including business people from the European Union. China's WTO accession proves the strong determination of the Chinese government to further the reform and opening, reflects China's positive gesture to develop economic and trade relations with the whole world, and marks a brand new stage of China's opening. The WTO accession will generate extensive and far-reaching implications for the development of the Chinese economy and world economy at large.
Since my friends are very interested in how China will face new circumstances arising from its WTO entry, hereby, I would like to say that, as a responsible large country, China will honor its commitments, fulfill its obligations, and abide by the WTO rules. At the same time, China will also fully use the organization through which it will enhance its economic and trades ties with all other members. In this way, China will contribute whatever it can to the development of WTO multilateral trading system.
加入世贸组织后，中国将会进一步开放市场。近年来，中国政府为做好加入世贸组织的准备工作，已多次自主降低关税总水平，扩大货物和服务贸易领域的对外开放。目前，中国正在按照加入世界贸易组织的协议逐步开放国内市场，自今年1月1日起，已依照承诺将关税总体水平由15％下调到12％，到2005年将下调至10％左右。中国正在有步骤地开放金融、保险、电信、外贸、商业、运输、建筑、旅游等服务领域，允许外商根据中国有关法律法规，在这些领域设立中外合资、合作或独资企业，逐步扩大开放地域和范围，形成一个"统一开放、竞争有序"的大市场。The post-accession Chinese market is going to be more open. In order to prepare better for the WTO accession, the Chinese government has voluntarily lowered the overall tariff rate for many times, and has expanded the opening of trade in goods and trade in services. Currently, China is gradually opening its domestic market in line with WTO agreements. Since January 1st of this year, China has lowered the overall tariff rate from 15% to 12% and will further lower it to 10% by year 2005. China is progressively liberalizing the service sector such as finance, insurance, telecommunication, foreign trade, commerce, transportation, construction, tourism and so on. Foreign business people are allowed to set up Chinese-foreign equity or contractual joint ventures, or wholly-foreign-owned companies in the above sectors in line with relevant Chinese laws and regulations. Geographic locations and business scope of these enterprises will be expanded gradually and hence a huge market of uniform opening and orderly competition will be formed.
After the WTO accession, China will further improve its market climate. The Chinese government has done a lot to prepare its legal environment for the accession. Up to date, China has finished sorting out and revising foreign-related laws, regulations and rules at national level. The work at local level is also going on. In order to meet the demand of socialist market economy, China has identified "rule of law" as a basic policy, according to which administration by law and strict administration will be practiced aiming at building a fair, transparent, foreseeable and law-based trading system and market climate.
加入世贸组织后，中国将会为世界经济发展注入新的活力。加入世贸组织，中国将在更加广泛的领域、更深的层次参与国际经济贸易，促进中国经济的发展。2001年至2005年，中国GDP预期年均增长7%左右，到2005年，中国国内生产总值将达到12.5万亿元，外贸进出口总额预期目标为6800亿美元，吸收外商直接投资保持在年均400亿美元左右。据初步估算，从2001年至2005年，中国将进口约1.4万亿美元的设备、技术和产品。这将给包括欧盟在内的世界各国企业界，提供巨大的商机，有利于世界经济的恢复和发展。China will invigorate new vitality to world economy with its entry to the WTO. China will be more heavily involved with the world economic and trade activities in both breadth and depth so as to push forward the development of the Chinese economy. It is anticipated that China's GDP will grow by 7% annually from 2001 to 2005 and GDP will reach 12.5 trillion yuan by 2005 while total foreign trade volume standing at 680 billion USD and FDI reaching 40 billion USD annually. According to preliminary estimate, China will import equipment, technologies and products worth of 1.4 trillion USD from 2001 to 2005. This will create enormous business opportunities to the business community of the world, certainly including the EU, and will help world economic growth.
加入世贸组织后，中国将与包括欧盟在内的世贸组织各成员密切合作，发挥积极和建设性的作用，推动新的多边贸易谈判的进程。After entering the WTO, China will closely cooperate with all WTO members including the EU playing a positive and constructive role in promoting the new round of multilateral trade negotiations.
女士们，先生们：Ladies and gentlemen,
As I know, many business people present here are very interested to know if China's foreign investment policies might change after the WTO entry. I can assure you here that the Chinese government welcomes business people from all part of the world to invest in China. Foreign investment incentives will remain unchanged or changed to the better if there are any. We will make further efforts to improve the investment climate and protect investors' rights and interests according to law.
China encourages foreign investment in hi-tech industry and agriculture in particular. The Chinese government will soon promulgate and implement the new Regulations Guiding Foreign Investment and the Catalogue of Industries Guiding Foreign Investment, formulate the Catalogue of Encouraged Hi-tech Products for Foreign Investment, and work out guiding proposals to promote foreign investment in agriculture and SMEs. Incentives will be formulated in terms of equity limitations on registered capital, ownership composition, and taxation. At the same time, relevant regulations on venture capital by foreign investors will be perfected encouraging foreign investors to open venture capital companies and moreover favorable conditions will be created for hi-tech enterprises and agricultural enterprises.
China will actively attract foreign investment in reorganizing and transforming SOEs. Foreign investment is allowed to participate in assets reorganization and disposal of financial assets management companies and to participate in the reorganization and transformation of SOEs by means of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, industrial investment funds, venture capital, equity joint ventures, franchised operation and so on.
中国将进一步放宽外商在华设立合资外贸公司的限制条件。促进外商投资企业出口便利化，引导外商投资企业充分利用其销售渠道和网络扩大出口。鼓励跨国公司在华设立地区总部和研发中心。China will further relax limitations on joint venture trading companies with foreign investment. Export by foreign-invested enterprises will be facilitated and they are encouraged to expand their export by fully using their sales channels and network. Transnational companies are encouraged to locate their regional headquarters and R&D centers in China.
China encourages foreign investment in the Western Development. The Catalogue of Advantageous Industries of the Middle and Western Regions for Foreign Investment will be modified. Limitations on foreign investment in service sector of the middle and western regions will be appropriately relaxed. Requirements on domestic financing of foreign-invested projects in the western regions will be eased. FIEs in the coastal regions are encouraged to reinvest in the middle and western regions; and foreign investors are encouraged to play a role in infrastructure construction projects such as the project of transmitting power and natural gas produced in West China to East China and other supporting projects.
China will also take steps to promote the liberalization of trade in services. Laws and regulations regarding foreign investment in banks, insurance companies, travel agencies, foreign trade companies, construction, project design, accounting firms, education services, distribution of AV products, civil aviation and telecommunication will be worked out. Foreign investors are also encouraged to invest in logistics industry and to set up a number of foreign-funded export procurement centers. Modern business philosophy in the foreign service industries, their edge-cutting management expertise, technologies and marketing approaches are to be introduced to China.
总之，中国政府将为外商来华投资创造稳定的政策环境、公平统一的市场环境、完善的法律环境、优化的人才环境、高效廉洁的政府运作环境和现代的物流环境。All in all, the Chinese government will build a stable policy climate, a fair and uniform market, a perfect legal regime, an ever-improved talent resources, clean and highly efficient government, and an updated logistic environment for all foreign business people.
Ladies and gentlemen,
中国政府非常重视发展与欧盟及其成员国的关系。中国和欧盟都是当今世界多极化进程中重要力量，发展长期、稳定的中欧关系符合中欧双方的利益。过去的一年，中欧全面伙伴关系取得了新的发展。双方高层互访频繁，第4次中欧领导人会晤取得成功，各级政治磋商与对话进展顺利，涉及领域越来越广泛，增进了了解，扩大了共识，发展了合作。The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing relations with the European Union and its members. China and the EU are both important forces in today's multi-polarized world. A long-term and stable China-EU relationship is in the interests of both parties. The past year has seen new progress of China-EU all-dimensional partnership. There were frequent exchanges of visits by the two leaderships and the 4th China-EU summit meeting yielded great success. While covering wider areas, political consultations and dialogues at all levels went on smoothly through which mutual understanding has been deepened, consensus has been widely reached, and cooperation developed.
China-EU trade and economic cooperation has yielded heartening fruits. The EU is now an important economic and trade partner of China, working as the largest technology supplier to, third largest trading partner with and the 5th largest actual investor in China. Bilateral trade hit a historic high of 76.6 billion USD in 2001, registering an 11% increase compared to the previous year. In particular, China's import from the EU grew by 15.8%. China has introduced 1050 technical projects from EU members with a total value of 4.4 billion USD. Up to the end of 2001, EU enterprises have set up 12,583 investment projects in China with an actual investment of 30.3 billion USD. I highly appreciate the efforts by Europe-China Business Association and Belgium-Chinese Economic and Commercial Council for developing China-EU economic and trade ties.
China-EU trade and economic cooperation is endowed with promising future. The two economies are strongly complimentary to each other and hence enjoy huge potential for cooperation in trade, investment, science and technology areas. As a regional organization composed of developed countries, the European Union is developing well. The official circulation of euro on January 1st of this year marks a new step toward the European integration from which businesses from every part of the world including those from China will benefit a lot such as cost cut. I believe the development of the European Union will generate more opportunities for China-EU cooperation. As the largest developing country in the world, China is proved to have stable political and social environment, constant economic growth and ever-opening market as well as ever-better market atmosphere, which is also going to generate more investment and trade opportunities for international business circle including EU businesses. EU enterprises enjoy advanced equipment, technologies and management expertise in traditional sectors such as machinery, automobile, chemical industry and electronics and also in service sectors such as banking and insurance industries. These suit China's need of economic restructuring. So EU enterprises and Chinese enterprises may carry out cooperation through multiple means. Hereby, I would like to note that there are a large number of small and mum-sized enterprises in EU which all have their unique technological features. They are welcome to open new business in China. At the same time, we also encourage Chinese enterprises to do business in the EU. I hope the European business community could seek opportunities to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts.
I'm delighted to see that EU enterprises are giving more confidence to the Chinese market under the background of global economic recession. As I know, governmental delegations of some EU member states will visit China within this year with business missions accompanied. His Excellency Prime Minister of Belgium Werhosfstadt will head a mission to China in late March. A study tour to China's middle and western regions will be arranged for business people in that mission. I wish the delegation a successful visit.
朋友们，让我们共同努力，开创新世纪中欧经贸合作的美好未来。My dear friends, let's work closely together and build a brighter future in the new century for China-EU trade and economic cooperation.
Thank you all!