A decade of openness
China's admission into the WTO was an important milestone in the country's opening up. In the past decade, China has become an active and mature participant in the WTO.
China's average tariff dropped from 15.3 percent a decade ago to 9.8 percent at present. China has opened more than 100 sectors in the service trade and widely sorted out legal issues involving over 3,000 laws and regulations. Meanwhile, China has learned and applied international trade rules to accelerate the establishment of a steady and foreseeable trade system. China has adopted the WTO principles of non-discrimination, transparency and fair competition to foster market awareness, a sense of legality and knowledge of intellectual property rights among the Chinese people.
The past 10 years have seen China grow into the world's major growth engine. The country's exports and imports are, respectively, 4.9 and 4.7 times greater than they were a decade ago. And last year, China became the world's second largest importer and its trade volume accounted for 10 percent of the world's total.
China has also become a major investment destination as a growing number of foreign enterprises keep their eyes fixed on the Chinese market. By investing in China, foreign enterprises have shared in the success of the country's development.
As Premier Wen Jiabao said in his government work report, China's development could not be achieved without the world's development. We will push forward Doha Round negotiations, intellectual property rights protection and new international economic orders featuring fairness, justice and win-win results.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), China will attach more importance to changing the trade growth model, including general trade, processing trade, service trade and service outsourcing. We will also insist on encouraging both exports and imports, and expand imports. We will increase our imports from least developed countries and major trade surplus economies. We also hope that those countries with trade imbalances are able to alleviate their control on exports to China and work with China to deal with trade frictions.
In addition, we will encourage Chinese companies to invest overseas and seek international cooperation, and encourage foreign enterprises to invest in China. We will make it easier for Chinese companies going overseas by enhancing laws and regulations on promoting and protecting investment. China has signed bilateral investment treaties (BIT) with many countries and is engaged in talks with developed countries including the United States to sign the BIT. I believe that all these efforts will help Chinese enterprises in their overseas endeavors.
Regarding foreign investment, we will revise the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries together with the National Development and Reform Commission. We will also direct foreign capital to invest in hi-tech, energy-saving and environment-friendly industries, the modern service sector and China's central and western regions.