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China Daily Website

China calls for confidence to solve impasse in WTO trade talks

Updated: 2013-12-04 17:04
( Xinhua)

BALI, Indonesia -- Confidence, commitment and change are keys to break the WTO trade talks deadlock, said Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng here Wednesday.

The WTO is only one step away from sealing the "early harvest" deal, and all its members should boost confidence to reach an agreement, said Gao when delivering a speech at the plenary session of the 9th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference.

The multilateral system remains the first option for trade relations across the world, and reaching an "early harvest" agreement is of top priority at the moment, he said.

"The WTO needs to change and break new ground," he added, noting that the increasing regional trade agreements, expanding WTO membership and inefficient decision-making progress have all posed challenges to the organization.

China is a firm supporter and important contributor to the multilateral trade system, and will play a more active role in the WTO system by further opening up its market, said Gao, estimating that China will see nearly $10 trillion in import as well as more than $500 billion in outbound investment for the next five years.

Gao noted that China has also been offering duty-free treatment to Least Developing Countries (LDCs) whilst serving as their largest export market over the last five years.

Gao announced here Tuesday that China will expand its cooperation program with the group of four major African cotton producing countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, China and the WTO also signed a Memorandum of Understanding here to extend its program of facilitating WTO accession of least- developed countries for another year.

The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, struggling to revive the long-stalled Doha Round by reaching a possible trade deal, is being held here from December3 to 6 with the participation of trade chiefs of the organization's 159 members and other 10,000 diplomats from more than 160 countries and regions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier this year that China is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trade mechanism, and will continue to be a responsible member of the WTO.

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