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Trade and Investment Liberalization (TIL) and China's Rural Economy: Impacts and Policy Responses after China's Accession to the WTO

Policy Briefs

Published By

World Bank

March 2002

wbreport cover wto

China and the World Trade Organization

On balance, will the nation's accession to WTO help or hurt rural residents? How will they affect rural incomes? Who in the rural economy will get hurt? Are there some in the rural economy who will be insulated from the effects of WTO?

The general goal of our essay will be to begin the discussion of these critical questions. In particular, we will attempt to meet this broad goal by pursuing three sets of objectives. First, we will examine the record of rural incomes, in general, and then focus on how employment may be affected by China's accession to WTO.

Second, we will attempt to understand how WTO will affect the agriculture sector, in particular. To do so, we will provide measures of the distortions in China's agricultural sector at a time immediately prior to the nation's accession to WTO and seek to assess how well integrated China's markets are in order to understand which areas of the country and which segments of the farming population will likely be isolated from or affected by the changes that WTO will bring. Ultimately, with a knowledge of the size and magnitude of the impacts, researchers will be better able to begin working on understanding how the policies that WTO will impose on China will change the gap between the domestic and international price and affect imports and exports, domestic production and production, prices, income and poverty.

Third, we will examine the policy options that the government has available to them in the wake of WTO.

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