Magazine article Presidents & Prime Ministers

International Trade: News Briefs

Magazine article Presidents & Prime Ministers

International Trade: News Briefs

Article excerpt

Opening Market

China's new Ministry of Information Industry (MII) plans to gradually open the country's telecommunications market to the outside world. According to a recent reorganizations plan, MII will have 13 departments. One major function is to make China's telecommunications industry more international. The telecommunications sector will be separated from the postal sector, which is a move expected to allow China to open up its postal market first.

"China will open up all kinds of its postal services, except for letters, in the next few years," said Director of the state Postal Service Bureau Liu Liqing, adding that China has made express mall and other services competitive and open to overseas investors.

WTO Accession Reaffirmed

Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Long Yongtu, reaffirmed recently in Geneva the position of the Chinese government on its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the following:

* The accession to the WTO is consistent with China's policy of reform and opening up and therefore it is in China's interests. The positive attitude of China toward its WTO accession has not changed.

* China's accession is also in the interests of WTO members. Without China's participation, the WTO would be an incomplete global multilateral trade organization.

* In opening its market, China can only take a step-by-step approach in line with its current level of economic development. Excessive demands or hasty actions in this regard will not only endanger China's economic development, but also damage the interests of those countries which are willing to develop economic and trade relations with China.

* After its accession to the WTO, China is prepared to fulfill the obligations of a WTO member. At the same time, it should also enjoy the due rights. The rights and obligations should be balanced.

Aviation Agreements

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hubert Vedrine and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recently signed a French-American civil aviation agreement that will have major implications. Through a five-year transition period, airlines are gradually going to be able to increase their services and open new routes. Partnerships between Air France, Delta, and Continental Airlines will become fully operational.

Trade Relations

The recent arrival of French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot in Cuba was the occasion to develop more trade relations between France and the island. The inauguration by the minister of Air France's new Paris-Havana route was symbolic of growing relations.

Gayssot was received by Fidel Castro for several hours. The meeting resulted in positive consequences for the 40 businessmen who accompanied the minister on his trip.

Cyber Trade

Japan and the U.S. have been working together on guidelines to govern electronic trade as it plays an ever-greater role in the global economy. A joint statement was recently issued, noting electronic commerce as an engine of growth in the 21st century, "with the potential to invigorate economies by enhancing productivity, streamlining distribution, and revamping corporate structures."

The statement said electronic commerce would boost the standard to living for citizens in both nations as well as the rest of the globe, "by creating new, high-paying jobs and opportunities."

The statement continued, "The governments of the U. …

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