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Changes in Chinese Competitiveness in Major Food Products: Implications for WTO Membership

Ziping Wu and Ken Thomson

Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 2003, vol. 1, issue 1, 117-130

Abstract: Chinese entry to the WTO in December 2001 marks a new phase in agricultural trade, both nationally and globally. After a context review of Chinese agriculture and WTO-related policy issues, this paper first uses a Balassa index approach to examine China's relative competitiveness in some major food products over the period since 1985, followed by an analysis of price-cost ratios and production cost structures for these products. It is found that China has revealed comparative advantages in meat products but disadvantages in cereals. With limited land resources, its production and trade competitiveness has declined despite rapid substitution of capital for labour, due to a marked rise in relative labour price in agriculture. In the long run, it is expected that WTO membership will boost Chinese agricultural trade, but its impact on competitiveness will probably depend more on production costs, and will differ between crops and animal products.

Keywords: Chinese Agriculture; Competitiveness; Wto; Production Costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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DOI: 10.1080/1476528032000039776

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