China’s WTO Membership Boosts Market Share for Overseas Appliance Manufacturers

Changhong, a major producer of home appliances in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, said it had benefited from China’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a system that China has adhered to 20 years ago to embrace trade and investment all over the world.

China became the 143rd member of the WTO on December 11, 2001. The country has since opened up its market, attracting more foreign investment.

Changhong is a prime example of how China has achieved positive results over the past 20 years thanks to its policy of openness.

Rao Binbin, a spokesperson for the company, said that when China joined the WTO 20 years ago, the home appliance producer knew it would pose challenges, as more competitors from outside of the border would join the party. On the other hand, it would also create opportunities to take their business to the next level.

“Whether it was challenges or opportunities, it provided strong incentives for Changhong,” Rao said. “As early as 2004, we made the ‘exit’ strategy on products, talents, capital and brands.”

According to Rao, China’s accession to the WTO meant greater market access globally and a chance to build a world-class manufacturing and research and development platform.

The same awards were reaped by other home appliance producers such as Chinese appliance maker Midea, which became the most valuable home appliance company in China and the world last October, according to a report published by Hurun Research.

Valued at 510 billion yuan ($ 80 billion), Foshan-based Midea took the top spot in October 2020, followed by Gree and Haier on Hurun’s list of 10 most valuable electrical appliance companies. China 2020. These companies have also executed their version of the “exit” strategy with their products.

“There are richer global resources that we can integrate, and we’ve also had more options in terms of partners, from a larger pool that we can cooperate with with big companies with influence, strength and influence. a considerable reputation in the world, ”said Rao, adding that with everyone respecting international trade practices and rules, playing respective roles in the industrial chain, Changhong’s strategy to globalize had a strong guarantee.

“Such a friendly business environment has helped us and our business partners to gain industry opportunities and market share,” he said.

Rao said companies like Changhong have taken advantage of the trend, finding room to cooperate with international partners. As a result, Changhong has expanded its overseas market share, covering 130 countries and regions. Its partners, in turn, have reaped the same benefits in China.

China-Europe Rail Express

Europe is one of the most important foreign markets for Changhong, according to the appliance maker. Therefore, transporting the products there requires efficiency, which is why they started to rely on the China-Europe freight trains to ship the products.

Prior to the launch of the China-Europe Railway Express, all of Changhong’s exports relied on water transport. But it was not ideal for the company, which is based in the interior regions of China. Thus, freight trains that go to the European continent have opened up new possibilities.

Song Shan, general manager of Minsheng International Freight Forwarding Co., Ltd., said that the company previously had no choice but to set up redistribution centers in coastal cities in Europe and that to operate in this way is expensive and inflexible.

“After the launch of the China-Europe Railway Express, we can build centers at multiple stops along the way and cover much larger markets,” Song said.

Gao Feng, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said recently that the country’s two decades of achievements and contribution have been tangible and remarkable since it became a member of the WTO, as it has fully fulfilled its commitments. towards the organization. Gao added that the country promises to continue its opening process by shortening the negative list and improving the business climate.

Chinese Ambassador to the WTO Li Chenggang recently told Xinhua News Agency that China’s average annual contribution to global economic growth over the past 20 years has been nearly 30%. .

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 was a “pivotal event in the history of the multilateral trading system.”

Over the past 20 years, China has been “a textbook case of how global trade integration can boost growth and development,” she told attendees of a high-level forum co-hosted by the WTO Secretariat and the Permanent Mission of China on December 10. .

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