Dr. Durval Noronha,
Dear Friends and Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with great pleasure that I and my colleagues are present tonight to take part in Noronha Advogados´ "Chinese Evening". I would like to thank Noronha Advogados for their kind invitation and express my hope that tonight´s event achieves its purpose of increasing mutual understanding and co-operation. I would also like to use this opportunity to offer our congratulations to Noronha Advogados from the General Consulate of the People´s Republic of China in São Paulo on the opening of their office in Shanghai.
This is the first year of the new century. As China has joined the World Trade Organisation, so too has Noronha Advogados opened its first office in Shanghai. Creative initiative has been taken with great vision and good sense, thereby giving rise to the first example of co-operation between China and Brazil in the area of law and, of course, lending support and assistance to the development of commercial and economic co-operation between Brazil and China.
I am convinced that Noronha Advogados´ office in Shanghai, being the first South American legal office in China will make a great contribution towards not just Chinese-Brazilian but also Chinese-Latin American co-operation.
A week from today, on the 11th December, China will become a member of the WTO, thereby enjoying fundamental rights and assuming specific duties as do other developing country members . China´s accession is an event that attracts the world´s attention and has great significance not just for Chinese politics, economics and diplomatic relations but for international economic and political relations. As time passes, the positive influence and importance of China´s membership of the WTO will grow more and more apparent.
China´s entry into the WTO represents the determination and conviction held by the Chinese government and people to adapt to the world´s tendency towards economic globalisation. Negotiations took more than 15 years. China´s determination and conviction to join the WTO never swayed, despite these gruelling, prolonged negotiations and the enormous pressure suffered.
China´s entry into the WTO is a historic event and one necessary for China´s policy to open its markets and for economic reform. If China´s markets had been closed for the last twenty years, there would be no negotiations on China´s return to GATT nor on its membership of the WTO. Without successful economic reform and opening of markets over more than two decades, there would not be this historic conclusion to China´s entry into the WTO.
China´s entry into the WTO represents her active desire to take part in international competition and co-operation. China´s entry into the WTO is necessary for her own development. At the same time, the WTO also needs her participation. Over the last 20 years, China´s level of economic growth has stayed put at 9%. The development of foreign trade and investment deserve greater attention. This year, though world economic growth has been dropping, China´s level of growth has been excellent. From January to September, China´s GNP grew 7.6% and for the whole year will be 7.5%. The total volume of imports and exports from January-September reached US$ 376.37 billion, of which US$ 181.39 billion were imports and US$ 194.98 exports with respective growth of 11% and 7%,and for the whole year will be more then US$ 500 billion. Over the last eighteen months, China has received US$ 32.2 billion in foreign investment, 20.7% more than in 2000. China´s international reserves are already more than US$ 200 billion. Based on a strong macro-economic situation, China certainly has the capacity to become a member of the WTO and meet her challenges after entry. China´s development needs the world, and the world´s needs China. Everybody can reach this conclusion.
On joining the WTO, China will enter a new stage of "Reform and Market-Opening" and will play a more active part in international economic co-operations. China´s opening of her markets will be in all areas and will be mutual among member of the WTO. China´s external economic environment will be perfected. China´s participation in world trade is 3.5%. An increase of 7% is foreseen over the next tem years. With China´s entry into the WTO economic growth will increase 0.5% and China´s level of foreign investment will keep its level between US$ 40 – 50 billion.
Being the worlds largest developing country, with 1/5 of the world´s population and having the 7th highest GNP, China´s entry into the WTO will complete the system of multilateral international trade. At the Doha Round, a China with great potential and perspective for development may play a constructive role with special influence in increasing developing countries´ power and speaking for developing countries in multilateral international business, forcing multilateral international trade to be fairer, more reasonable and more equal.
I am convinced that China´s entry into the WTO will present a good opportunity and excellent prospects for the development of future economic and commercial co-operations between China and Brazil. China and Brazil are two of the largest developing countries, placed respectively in the eastern and western hemisphere and sharing mutual economic compensation. From January to October of this year, the volume of trade between China and Brazil reached $US 3 billion, showing considerable growth from the previous year. Brazil´s surplus has already reached US$ 800 million. However, China and Brazil´s commercial value is still low. China´s entry into the WTO will doubtless provide an excellent opportunity for our countries. I am convinced that, if our governments and businessmen make the most of the opportunity, work together, increase understanding, reinforce contacts and overcome obstacles, then Chinese and Brazilian trade will be in a position to grow and double in little time. The General Consul of China will do everything in its power to achieve this goal.
To conclude, I would like to offer my thanks once again for the organisation of this event. In China there is a saying that "Seeing once is better than hearing a thousand times". I hope that all present may have the opportunity to visit China.