It is through 15 years’ efforts that China’s WTO entry has come true. The Chinese people are all excited and cheerful, just as for the success of the 2008 Olympic Games Bid. But at the same time, we have to calm down for a while and ask ourselves: Are you ready for it? As we know, with the entry of the WTO, we are confronted with both opportunities and challenges, which affect many fields whether we like it or not. So we must get everything ready ahead of it.
In the first place, agriculture is among the most threatened fields. For one thing farming in advanced foreign countries is cheap and of high quality, which can be accepted by the Chinese people easily; while our farming is on a small scale, with low investment and low output, without the advantage of economics of scale. For another, as China is still an agricultural country, farmers occupy more than 60%, if farmers gain much less from their farming because of the impact of the WTO, the GDP of agriculture will also diminish, therefore the government will be unable to make up for the loss of agriculture. To confront such challenges, Chinese government must work out ways as early as possible to change the structures of farming, as well as the patterns of doing farming and management of it so as to boost its development.
Another field that will be influenced is the newly-founded information technology. It is true that the price of computer will become cheaper and computers will make its way easily into every family, just as TV sets and fridges have done before them. And the same can be said of the automobile industry. With the entry to the WTO, the powerful foreign companies will come and set themselves up in the Chinese market. This will certainly affect China’s car industry. The advantages of technology, management, and especially the economics of scale will weaken both the home information technology and car market. Of course, the consumer will benefit from these examples for they will spend their money and buy high quality goods. But have you thought of the down side to this? The home industries have little economic or technological power to resist the impact from large foreign companies who have had years of experience in foreign markets.
Perhaps it is pessimistic to worry about such issues, but as the Chinese saying goes: Preparedness ensures security. If we get ready earlier, we could gain the opportunity to develop faster, otherwise, these challenges will be harder to deal with and we may suffer, due to them. So from now on, we should warn ourselves time and again: Are you ready for the WTO entry?