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[Yearly Overview XXII for Commerce Work in 2018] Firmly Support the Multilateral Trading System and Proactively Participate in Global Economic Governance

In 2018, under the strong leadership of MOFCOM Party Committee, the Department of WTO Affairs fully implemented the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, and took Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide to support the rule-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system with specific actions, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and push economic globalization to develop in a more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win direction.

I. Promote the WTO to conduct necessary reform

MOFCOM Department of WTO Affairs strengthened its research on the WTO reform issues, and released the document about China鈥檚 position on the WTO reform before the G20 summit, clarifying China's basic principles and propositions on this issue. It steadily advanced the work of the China-EU joint work group on the WTO reform, put forward the joint texts on the reform of the appellate body with members of the European Union and discussed at the WTO General Council. At the same time, it communicated with other member countries such as Russia about the WTO reform.

II. Articulate the voice of China that firmly supports the multilateral trading system

In 2018, protectionism and unilateralism rose, and the authority and effectiveness of the WTO were severely challenged. The Department of WTO Affairs of MOFCOM conscientiously implemented the spirit of the important speeches of our leaders at the G20, BRICS, APEC, Asia-Europe summit and other occasions, and clearly expressed China's firm stand on supporting the multilateral trading system. At the BRICS Economic and Trade Ministers' Meeting, it issued a separate statement together with other BRIC member countries on supporting the multilateral trading system and opposing unilateralism and protectionism, and called on the WTO members to abide by the WTO commitments and jointly make the WTO stronger. At the G20 Buenos Aires Summit, China also actively expanded the 鈥渇riend circle鈥and worked with all parties to reach a consensus on supporting the necessary reforms of the WTO, which has laid a good foundation for strengthening the dialogue and cooperation to safeguard and improve the multilateral trading system among member countries in the next step. It actively participated in dialogues on new issues such as WTO e-commerce and investment facilitation. It held related seminars in China, attended by dozens of senior officials and ambassadors from the developing countries at the WTO to exchange views on relevant topics.

III. Release the white paper entitled China and the World Trade Organization

To give a comprehensive introduction to China's implementation of WTO commitments, to explain China's principled position and policy proposals for participating in the multilateral trade system, and to clarify China's vision and actions to promote a higher level of opening up, China published the white paper entitled China and the World Trade Organization for the first time. Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan attached great importance to this work and published a signed article in People's Daily. Vice Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen attended the press conference of the State Council, held an introduction conference in Geneva and accepted the interview from the Bloomberg News Agency..

IV. Complete the WTO's 7th review of China's trade policy

In the 7th review of China's trade policy, China received 2,200 questions from 42 members, and ambassadors and representatives from 70 member countries delivered speeches, both setting a new record for WTO review. At the meeting, the Chinese delegation elaborated on the positive changes in China's economic and trade policies during the review period and expressed China's position on further opening up and supporting the multilateral trading system. The overwhelming majority of members spoke highly of China's economic and trade policy trends and development achievements during the review period, and appreciated China's contribution to the multilateral trading system.

V. Spare no effort for the related work of the first CIIE

We promoted the establishment of the partnership between the WTO and the China International Import Expo, and invited the WTO Director-General Azev錨do to attend the opening ceremony and deliver a speech. We implemented the booth building of the WTO in the national exhibition through coordination, took the leadership to hold the joint press conference of the Chinese version of the World Trade Report 2018, and coordinated relevant units to support the relevant members in participating in the first China International Import Expo. The attendance of the WTO and relevant members has attracted the attention of many buyers and deepened China鈥檚 cooperation and contacts with the WTO Secretariat and that with the related members.

VI. Advance the negotiations of various free trade agreements and economic and trade cooperation agreements orderly

In 2018, MOFCOM Department of WTO Affairs promoted the negotiation of the FTA in an orderly manner. China-Georgia Free Trade Agreement officially came into effect, China-Mauritius Free Trade Agreement negotiations officially ended, the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union was officially signed, the China-Russian "Eurasian Economic Partnership Agreement" (EAEPA) Joint Feasibility Study was concluded, the China-Moldova FTA negotiations were steadily advanced. Relevant work has effectively served the Belt and Road Initiative and provided institutional guarantee for the development of economic and trade relations.

VII. Comprehensively promote the compliance work on trade policy

MOFCOM Department of WTO Affairs thoroughly implemented the spirit of the Circular of the General Office of the State Council on Further Strengthening Trade Policy Compliance to further strengthen capacity building. It conducted compliance assessments on relevant trade policies, held two training courses on national trade policy compliance, training nearly 130 people for the relevant departments of the State Council and local commercial systems, and provided support for local compliance training courses in Hebei and Guangdong.

The year 2019 is essential for a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Guided by Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will adhere to the new development concept, continue to implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the plans of the Central Economic Work Conference, and conscientiously study General Secretary Xi Jinping鈥檚 important speech at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. We will firmly support the multilateral trading system, seriously participate in the WTO reform discussions, contribute wisdom and strength to the construction of an open world economy, and greet the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China with outstanding achievements.

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