Jul 18

China Watch Blog has spotted this China Daily News which quoted senior World Trade Organization (WTO) experts on Friday welcoming China’s improved offer to join the WTO government procurement agreement (GPA). They said it was a significant step that would improve the nation’s global image.

Criticizing the tactics adopted by countries like the United States to pressure China, the experts said the GPA member nations themselves are unable to ensure fair and equal treatment for foreign nations.

Deputy US trade representative Demetrios Marantis had earlier said in Washington that China has submitted a new offer to join the WTO agreement on government procurement. He said the revised offer includes significant improvements and was better than the earlier proposal submitted by China in 2007.

WTO experts from China have also welcomed the revised offer. Although details about the new offer are still unclear, “the revised offer indicates that China is more positive and flexible on the GPA issue”, said Tong Zhiguang, former vice-minister of commerce and chief WTO negotiator.

The Ministry of Commerce declined to elaborate on the new proposal and said it was still under negotiation.

“Given that China is one of the leading exporters and trading nations in the world, the relaxation of curbs on government procurement will not hurt the nation too much,” Tong said.

Marantis said the new proposal is a “solid step toward ensuring China’s huge government procurement market is open to US companies”. US officials estimate the size of the government procurement market in China at around $500 billion.

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