December 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Over the past 20 years, China has won widespread recognition for honoring its commitments to and obligations under the WTO, becoming a country that practices and defends globalization.
Since 2001, China's overall tariff rate has dropped from 15.3 percent to 7.4 percent, lower than that in most developing countries and on par with the opening level of developed countries. China has also continuously cut its negative list of foreign investment access, and opened up as many sectors as possible to international trade. Today, China has unlocked some 120 sectors to foreign investors, both exceeding the 100 it had guaranteed upon WTO entry as well as outnumbering the average 108 promised by developed countries.
The facilitation of trade and investment proves that China is opening wider to the outside world, which in turn has promoted the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. In the last two decades, China's GDP went from ranking sixth to second in the world, its trade in goods rose from sixth place to first and trade in services climbed from 11th to second place. The nation's paid-in capital tops that of all developing countries and its outbound investment soared from 26 to No.1 worldwide.
During China's eighth trade policy review in October, the WTO spoke highly of the nation's important role as a driver of global growth and its commitment to safeguarding the multilateral trading system and participating in the various segments of WTO undertakings.
As the years progressed, China contributed an average of 30 percent to world economic growth. In 2020, specifically, the global economy declined owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet China became the only major economy to sustain positive growth, putting the nation in pole position to drive the world's steady economic recovery. It is also the first country in the world to host a national-level expo centered on import, providing more impetus to the universal economic revival by sharing more opportunities with countries from all corners of the globe.
(Print Edition Title: Trading and Trending)