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Brussels impressed by China 'market economy' progress

Jun '07
The European Commission is optimistic about market economy reforms in China, saying the Asian state has made "significant progress." But some are wary of Brussels sunny outlook on China's trade development.

In a commission assessment report presented to trade experts from EU member countries recently and seen by EUobserver, the EU executive says "China has made significant progress towards market economy status" in the last three years, adding that the Asian state has "shown evidence that it is committed to significantly reducing state interference in the management of companies."

But China has completed only one out of five technical conditions necessary to be granted a market economy status (MES) by Brussels, the commission points out.

Conditions include less government influence on companies; laws to end the ripping off of EU intellectual property; an end to tax breaks and soft bank loans for Chinese firms and the opening up of its vast government procurement sector to outsiders.

According to the commission's assessment, new laws in China could take the country closer to gaining MES.

"Proper implementation of these new pieces of legislation should contribute significantly to resolving a number of outstanding issues and will be a step towards creating the necessary conditions for a market economy," the report says.

"In the commission service's assessment, some of these issues could be addressed by China in a satisfactorymanner within the next 12 months," it continued.

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