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Statement at the MC11 Plenary Session

  

Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China
Buenos Aires, December 11


Honorable Chair, Madam Malcorra,
Honorable Director-General Azevedo,
Dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

First of all, on behalf of the Government of China, I’d like to congratulate on the successful opening of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Argentina and thank the Government of Argentina for all the effort it has put into the MC11 and the great hospitality it has accorded to the Chinese delegation.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China successfully held in October in Beijing enshrined Xi Jinping Thought for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the Party Constitution. President Xi made it clear at the Congress that China supports the multilateral trading system and pushes for an open world economy. I would like to take this opportunity to make three points from three dimensions, namely the past, the present and the future.

First, economic globalization is an irreversible historic trend. Opening-up is essential to prosperity and growth. Economic globalization has been a strong driving force for the world economy over the past decades. Today, with all economies closely interwoven, no single country can face new situations and problems on its own. We should push the process of globalization towards a more open, inclusive and balanced direction that will benefit different countries, communities and peoples and build a community of a shared future for mankind.

Second, the multilateral trading system is a critical safeguard for prosperity and development. History has proved that trade is a major growth engine and the WTO rules a significant institutional safeguard for economic globalization in the common interest of all countries. In the light of the challenges now facing globalization and the multilateral trading system, we call on all members to stay committed to the WTO’s basic principles—open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based, so that this organization can play a bigger role. As a strong proponent of the multilateral trading system, China has made contributions to the Trade Facilitation Agreement Fund with a view to helping the WTO members that have difficulty in implementing the agreement. In order to help the LDCs integrate into the multilateral trading system, China has signed an MOU with the WTO Secretariat on the 7th phase of the China Program.

We are willing to work with all Members and adopt specific measures to help more nations join the big WTO family and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results through opening-up.

Third, China is a staunch supporter for economic globalization and the multilateral trading system. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forth the Belt and Road initiative, proposing to build a new platform for international cooperation in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and create new drivers for common development. Over the past four years, the BRI has been commended and well-received by over 140 countries and more than 80 international organizations. A month ago, President Xi Jinping told business leaders at the APEC Business Summit in Da Nang of Vietnam that China would open its market wider and pursue more comprehensive development. In the next 15 years, it is estimated that China will import US$24 trillion worth of goods and make US$2 trillion of outbound investment.

In November next year, China will host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The CIIE is a big step for China to promote economic globalization and open up its market as well as a public good that it provides for inclusive and mutually-beneficial global growth. China will facilitate all countries in their participation and give more preferences to developing countries and the LDCs. In our estimation, 150,000 professional buyers will come to do business. We look forward to your coming and sharing the benefits brought by China’s economic growth. On the sidelines of the CIIE, we will host the Hongqiao International Forum on Trade focused on the latest developments in global trade and investment. We welcome active participation by WTO members.

Let us join hands and take real actions to uphold the authority and efficacy of the WTO and push the international economic order towards a more equitable and rational direction.

In closing, I wish the WTO MC11 a great success. Thank you!

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