CHIEF Executive Tung Chee-hwa yesterday made a public appeal to include China in the World Trade Organisation (WT) to speed up the development of a truly global trade system. In his opening address to the World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual meeting, Mr Tung said the mainland's inclusion in the world trade body should happen 'sooner rather than later'. He said many Asian nations had attained spectacular growth and development over recent decades and that their voices should be heard. Advocating a free flow of capital investment and open trading environment, Mr Tung also warned against the rise of regionalism and the resulting 'fortress mentality'. The emergence of trade blocs in the past decade might lead to trade friction, he said. Acknowledging the enormous growth Asia has experienced in the past decade, Mr Tung outlined four tasks the region needed in order to tackle to maintain its competitiveness. He said the upgrading of infrastructure, in particular the communication and transport network, with the aid of the private sector, should assume an increasing importance. A more liberal trading environment and a stable financial system were also essential ingredients for future growth, he said. Asian countries should also move away from their traditional concern with physical assets and plough more investment into 'intangible' assets, such as human capital, he said.