The cost of WTO membership for socio-economic development

17 APRIL 2008

The implications of China’s membership to the World Trade Organisation for the health and well-being of its people will be scrutinised at an international conference to be held at CSU next week.

The implications of China’s membership to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the health and well-being of its people will be scrutinised at an international conference to be held at Charles Sturt University (CSU) next week.
 
Organised by the CSU Faculty of Business,  the conference ‘Socio-economic development in China’ will bring together leading scholars from Australia including Professor John Hicks, Dean of the Faculty of Business at CSU and Professor Yutian—a leading Chinese scholar.
 
Professor Hicks will address the topic 'Services in China: Prospects for Growth & Implications for Australia' from 1.30pm on Tuesday 22 April.  
 
Together they will shed light on the effects of China’s key decision to open up the world’s largest economy and become the 143rd member of the WTO on 11th December 2001.
 
“It has been argued that China’s accession to WTO has significantly increased its income and the well-being of the Chinese population,” said conference organiser and Associate Professor Kishor Sharma, from CSU’s Faculty of Business.
 
“But doubts are being raised as the higher income levels have come at the cost of deteriorating environmental standards which has increasingly affected the health of the Chinese people, especially those in the major industrial cities.
 
“Also, there is a wide spread perception that its accession to WTO has significantly increased social shocks, especially among the farming community, which forms 70 percent of China’s population, and contributed to poor health outcomes among the rural population,” said Professor Sharma.
 
The conclusions drawn from the conference aim to provide useful insights for Chinese policy-makers, researchers and China’s economic partners.
 
The two-day international workshop on Monday 21 April and Tuesday 22 April will be opened by CSU acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Burnett at 10am in the David Asimus Court building on the University’s Wagga Wagga Campus.
 
CSU has strong ties with four leading universities in China namely, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (Kunmin), Changchun Taxation University (Changchun), Yangzhou University (Yangzhou) and Tianjin University of Commerce (Tianjin).
 
The conference will also bring together postgraduate research students from CSU and several academics who have an interest in developments in China for economic and environmental reasons.

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