'Positive and negative' in WTO deal, says professor

It will take at least 10 years for China to integrate with international business practice after its World Trade Organisation (WTO) accession, a mainland computer expert said yesterday.

Professor Wang Yangyuan, director of the Microelectronics Institute at Beijing University, said the WTO deal would have both positive and negative effects, and it would take years for the mainland to adjust to them.

'The WTO will bring about both challenges and opportunities for us,' Professor Wang told a seminar at the University of Hong Kong yesterday.

'It is inevitable, in the short term at least, that some sectors will benefit and some will suffer from the deal. But China's national strength as well as its dealings with the world community will benefit from it.' Professor Wang and his wife, Professor Yang Fuqing, dean of Beida's Faculty of Information and Engineering Science, are co-directors of software developer Jade Bird, which this month set up a foundation with Hong Kong's New World Development specialising in Internet investment and technology projects.

'Although our target clients at the moment remain mostly mainland government and business sectors, we are eyeing overseas opportunities and that's where the WTO deal falls in,' he said.

Professor Wang said the state should do more to curb smuggling of computer parts. He said 80 per cent of integrated circuit chips used on the mainland were smuggled in, and the annual loss of state tax revenue could be in the billions.