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China makes remarkable achievement in foreign trade in 2005

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China's import and export volume this year is expected to exceed 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars, 68 times of that in 1978, the starting year of China's reform and opening-up, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai was quoted as saying by Friday's People's Daily.

In the first three quarters this year, China's revenue from customs duties totaled 387.7 billion yuan (48 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 16 percent of the country's total tax revenue, Bo said.

China has made remarkable achievement in foreign trade this year, concluding negotiations with Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam on their market access conditions concerning accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), he said.

China has just successfully held the WTO Hong Kong meeting, and signed free trade area (FTA) agreement with Chile, he said.

Actually China is talking with 27 countries and regions on the establishment of nine FTAs, according to the ministry.

The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference was held from Dec. 13 to 18 in Hong Kong with fruitful achievements. The 149 WTO members agreed to eliminate all forms of agricultural export subsidies by the end of 2013 and provided a formula for tariff reduction on non-agricultural products.

During the meeting, developed nations also agreed to eliminate cotton export subsidies in 2006 and implement duty-free and quota-free market access for all products from least-developed countries.

"China has also made progress in market economy status issue this year," Bo said. Figures from the Ministry of Commerce showed 51 countries had officially acknowledged China's market economy status.

On China's textile talks with the European Union and the United States this year, Bo said the trade dispute involved interest of over 20 million Chinese textile workers.

The final agreements with the European Union and the United States are fair and win-win, and gain a relatively favorable international market for domestic textile industry, Bo said.

Since the elimination of global textile quota at the beginning this year, China's rocketing textile export has caused trade disputes with the European Union and the United States.

After rounds of talks, China signed a textile agreement with the European Union in June, and with the United States in November. According to the two agreements, some Chinese clothing and textile exports have been placed under import restrictions in the next few years.

The huge trade surplus will affect the balanced development of national economy, Bo said when asked to comment on the possible 100 billion U.S. dollars of trade surplus this year.

He suggested that China increase the import of important energy and resources, and the import of advanced technology, equipment and software, so as to push forward domestic industrial innovation and upgrade.

More than 70 percent of China's economy now depends on foreign trade, which has been growing at an annual rate of over 30 percent for years, official statistics showed.



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