International Trade:

Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Businesses in China

T-NSIAD-96-214: Published: Jul 29, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1996.

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GAO discussed the challenges and opportunities for U.S. businesses in China. GAO noted that: (1) energy production, transportation, telecommunications, and the environment are key sectors for U.S. exports to China; (2) impediments to accessing the Chinese market include poor intellectual property protections, and the failure to implement international trade standards; (3) China and the United States are conducting negotiations and establishing memoranda of understanding on these issues, but many improvements have come only in response to U.S. threats and punitive actions; (4) many U.S. businesses in China believe that China's admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) should depend on China significantly liberalizing its markets; (5) academic experts believe that China needs to improve its basic institutional infrastructure whether its admitted to WTO or not; (6) China has been the largest recipient of World Bank loan commitments in the 1990s and China is using the Bank's services and assistance to reform its economy; (7) to promote market-oriented reforms, the Bank is emphasizing competition, helping government staff develop managerial expertise in competitive bidding practices, project appraisal, and project evaluation methods, and introducing financial analysis techniques and methods; (8) the Bank is also helping reform the Chinese financial sector by moving it from government control and allowing increased participation of foreign financial institutions under certain conditions; and (9) China will need to make further improvements if it is to sustain economic growth and stability.

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