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An Evaluation of the Need and Cost of Selected Trade Facilitation Measures in China - Implications for the WTO Negotiations on Trade Facilitation

In 2004, China became the third largest trading economy in the world. Although official overall average import tariff rate was reduced to 9.9% as of January 2005, actual tariff rates are likely much lower. Although further tariff reductions may lead to renewed and expanded global trade growth, trade facilitation will play an increasingly important role in promoting global trade. The Chinese government has made great efforts in trade facilitation and huge investments in related infrastructure, mainly as part of its “Fast Customs Clearance System”. However, some areas still require improvement. Nearly 40% of Chinese enterprises surveyed in this study identified “technical or sanitary requirements” as the most problematic trade facilitation related issue, 25% chose “customs valuation” and “payment of fees and penalties”, and 12.5% chose “obtaining an import license”...

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