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Provinces become battle ground in China’s WTO offer

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Provinces become battle ground in China’s WTO offer
Thursday, July 22, 2010
BEIJING: Talks over China’s offer to join the World Trade Organisation’s government procurement agreement will likely focus on purchase practices by the country’s many provinces, where local protectionism tends to be more prevalent.

Like most WTO members, China has not yet joined the GPA, which requires a separate negotiation process. Members of the sub-group, mostly wealthy developed countries, pledge to give each other reciprocal access to government tenders and purchases.

People who have seen China’s revised offer, submitted this month, say a space has been left blank under the heading “sub-central government entities”, which is supposed to outline the levels of government that must abide by the agreement.

China pledged to make an offer to join the GPA last year at a Sino-US summit, after an initial proposal in 2007 was rejected as inadequate by other member countries.

The revised offer is much more acceptable to trading partners, with a five-year phase-in, instead of 15 years, and more central government bodies covered by the agreement.

“I don’t see the entry as being altogether smooth. A lot of negotiation will still be needed, but altogether, the environment is so much better than when China entered the WTO,” said Zheng Zhihai, the vice chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies, under the Ministry of Commerce.


Good find LK....china just amazes me on their games they play!!

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