China's 20 Years in the WTO

On December 11, 2001, China officially joined the WTO and became the 143rd member. Since then, China has increased its role in the global economy.


After joining the WTO, China adopted a system of laws and regulations in compliance with the WTO rules. At the same time, the legal system for trade promotion and the legal system for the protection of intellectual property rights have been gradually improved to promote the legalization of foreign economic and trade.


In terms of reducing tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers, as of January 2005, most of China's tariff reduction commitments had been implemented.


In order to further open up the market, since 2015, China has taken the initiative to lower import tariffs on consumer goods many times. In May 2018, the import tariffs on consumer goods were significantly reduced, and they were implemented on July 1 of the same year.


In terms of expanding service market opening, it provides overseas service providers with extensive market access opportunities including finance, telecommunications, logistics, tourism, and education. Among the 160 sub-sectors of the WTO's service trade classification, China has opened nearly 120.

In the past 20 years, China has grown significantly, and its economy surpassed Japan's for the first time, as 2nd in the world in 2010.


China's total tariff level fell to 7.4%, below its WTO accession commitment of 9.8%, and its contribution to world economic growth exceeded 30%. FDI rose from the world's 26th to the 1st place, with 98% of the World’s Top 500 companies having invested in China.

China's global share of GDP developing from 4% in 2001 to 17% in 2020.


China's total imports and exports of goods rising from 509 billion USD in 2001 to 4,646 billion USD in 2020, with trade in goods rising from 6th to 1st place in the world, with an average annual growth rate of 12%.


Today, China is again facing the challenge of further deepening reform and the urgent need to further expand trade and investments with other countries, that is why China promoted multi-lateral free trade agreements, tax treaties and agreements on investments, including the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that will enter into force in 2022 and the application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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