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EU to Fund China's Largest WTO Technical Aid Program
The European Union (EU) is finalizing a technical assistance program for China with an investment of more than 20 million Euros, according to an Asia-Invest Networking Conference which opened Tuesday in Beijing.

Hans-Friedrich Beseler, special adviser to EU Commissioner Pascal Lamy, said at the meeting that the program offers training for Chinese government functionaries in implementing WTO commitments.

It will be the largest technical assistance program supporting China's integration into the World Trade Organization, Beseler said.

The program involves varied training courses in a wide range of areas, including financial services, statistics, public procurement, legal cooperation and protection of intellectual property rights.

Moreover, Beseler said, the EU has already spent more than 20 million Euros to establish a series of capacity building projects to help China integrate into the world economy.

The special adviser said there is no doubt for the EU Commission that China will eagerly honor its WTO commitments and all signs point to China being well on track to integrating the world trading system.

Beseler, the former head of the EU team for China's WTO accession negotiations, cited China as fully aware of the importance of implementing the WTO commitments and has always made it quite clear that the government will ensure correct application.

Full and correct implementation within the agreed timetables is essential, Beseler said, not only for the EU and China's other trading partners, but also for the functioning of the entire WTO system. It is also essential for China to avail itself of the protection offered against others' misbehaviors, he added.

Beseler expressed the belief that investment access to the gigantic China market has been progressively improved. China is now bound by the same rules and disciplines as all other major trading nations, which will help ensure a greater degree of certainty for investors in China and worldwide.

China's long march towards a market economy is irreversible, Beseler noted.

( People's Daily November 6, 2002)

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