BEIJING, Dec 24 (CEIS): China's economy will face a tough challenge as the country, in accordance with commitments made at its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 2001, will greatly cut tariffs and open its market still wider to foreign competition in the coming year.
Currently, China's state-owned banks are stepping up preparations for being listed by introducing overseas strategic investors or partners.
Chinese economists interviewed by Xinhua hold that although opening the market wider to international competition will be a grave test of the nation's economy, there is no reason to be pessimistic.
The past four years show that the impact of China's WTO admission on the economy is better than predicted, said Zhang Yansheng, director of the Foreign Economic Research Department of the Macro Economic Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Many of the dire predictions about the impact on the economy did not happen, he said.
Besides, Zhang said, the adjustments made by Chinese enterprises and industries in catering to the entry to the global trade body were overestimated.
For example, some industries that seemed in a poor position in terms of competition became more competitive in the international market after China joined the WTO, Zhang said.
Dr. Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Ministry of Commerce, also noted that the impact was "comprehensive and extensive", but added that it not only brought pressure on some industries and some people, but also helped them gain broader space for development.
"China now is almost fully prepared to open wider," he claims.
Zhang Hanlin, a professor with the University of International Business and Economics, said China's economy has been growing steadily in a more open environment over the past four years.