What they say

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am


Henry Gao, associate professor of law, Singapore Management University: 'Joining the WTO has enhanced government transparency tremendously - 10 years ago many laws and regulations were often closely guarded within government agencies and not disclosed to the public. Today, you can check the Ministry of Commerce's website and find lots of government information. Had China not joined the trade body, it is uncertain whether the reform programme would have stayed on course, if not gone backwards, without an external binding commitment.'

Chong Shing-hum, president, Hong Kong Chinese Importers' and Exporters' Association: 'Before China joined the WTO, trade deals were done under tight restrictions and uncertainty. We worried about quota limitations, which made us very selective about taking clients' orders. Since China became a WTO member, there have been clearer directions and rules to follow so we don't have to work with a blindfold. Joining the WTO was good as it set out specific rules for us to engage in global trade.'

Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative: 'I think by any definition - if you look at the raw numbers - we've made a lot of progress. But by the same definition, we'd be fooling ourselves if there isn't a lot of frustration.'

Feng Wei, pig farmer, Shandong: 'China's WTO entry has only harmed, not benefited, me. For example, China doesn't ban the use of antibiotics in the breeding of hogs and poultry, so the industry's abuse of these drugs has made it very tough to export our produce. But it's easy to import foreign pork into China. China probably hasn't imported much meat yet, but once it does, butchers will begin cutting prices. And if they reduce the price by, say, 10 fen, then pig traders will have to cut their prices by 30 fen.'