How does the paper industry face the new situation of joining the WTO?
the World Trade Organization (WTO), established in 1995, is an international organization established by the general agreement on Tariffs and trade (GATT) after the Uruguay Round (1986, 1994) as the procedural pillar of the world Trade Organization. The basic composition of the world trade organization is three agreements, namely, the general agreement on Tariffs and trade (GATT), the general agreement on trade in services (GATS) and the agreement on intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The intention of the world trade organization is to provide norms for all trade matters, including tariffs, market access, intellectual property rights, most favored nation treatment, labor, arbitration and sanctions. WTO is a supranational economic legislative and judicial institution, whose norms are higher than the legal norms of individual countries. As long as the economic legislation of any country conflicts with WTO norms, it may be judged to violate WTO rules and be subject to sanctions. WTO has 135 member countries. As a formal international trade organization, it is legally equal to the international organization of the United Nations. People believe that WTO is essentially equivalent to the Economic United Nations. Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the world bank, it is called the three pillars of the contemporary world economic system
from the entry into force of GATT in 1948 to the establishment of WTO in 1995, after several rounds of multilateral trade negotiations, the average tariff rate of developed countries fell from 50% in the 1940s to about 4% in the 1990s. Developing countries and regions have generally established a binding tariff system and lowered the average tariff rate to about 13%. Multilateral trade negotiations have also achieved many results in reducing non-tariff barriers (such as market access, import quota restrictions, etc.), which has greatly promoted the development of international trade and economic prosperity. After more than 13 years of arduous negotiations, taking the opportunity of the relevant bilateral agreements reached between China and the United States in November 1999, and the agreement reached with the European Union in 2000, China is about to formally join the WTO. China's practice in recent 20 years has proved that the earlier the opening up, the faster the industrial development. Reform and opening up is the only way. China's entry into WTO is an inevitable choice for building good external conditions for economic development. It also shows that China, the largest potential market in the world, not only allows China to develop itself, but also needs to be conditionally opened to the world, so that all countries in the world can participate in the development. This is conducive to borrowing foreign capital and external driving forces, promoting the further development of development and reform restricted by foreign hidden technical barriers, breaking through the bottleneck in the reform process, so as to accelerate economic development. However, China has been under the planned economic system for a long time. In order to integrate with the international market economy, there are many problems that need to be solved. Therefore, we are negotiating and studying and solving problems at the same time. Therefore, it took more than ten years to gradually create some basic conditions to adapt to China's entry into the WTO. However, domestic industries at different stages of development and of different types have different impacts after China's entry into WTO. In general, opportunities and challenges coexist, and they all need to be carefully analyzed according to the specific situation, and corresponding measures should be taken to prepare for the challenges. A brief introduction is as follows:
1 the characteristics of modern pulp and paper industry and the current situation of China's paper industry
1.1 compared with general traditional industries, modern paper industry is a capital and technology intensive industry, which is similar to heavy chemical industry and metallurgical industry. Its economies of scale and the level of technical equipment have a much more important impact on competitiveness than general labor-intensive industries, Its development and cleaner production need a lot of capital and advanced technology investment.
1.2 during the planned economy period, China's paper industry did not receive the same attention as metallurgy and heavy chemical industry, and the national investment was extremely limited. Since the reform and opening up, the rapid growth of output has largely relied on the disorderly development of simple and small enterprises in villages and towns, thus distorting the nature of this modern industry to a large extent. On the whole, it has become a non modern and backward industry with low efficiency and heavy pollution, which is still in the immature stage of development
1.3 since the 1990s, the domestic paper industry has received little policy protection, the import tax rate has been continuously reduced, and the entry of foreign capital has also been limited
1.4 domestic textile, machinery, clothing and other industries export much higher than imports, and have become a major export earner. However, the paper industry has increasingly become a major import user of foreign exchange from the basic self-sufficiency type in the early stage of reform and opening up. In 1999, a total of 6.913 million tons of paper and paperboard and paper products, 3.098 million tons of commercial pulp, and 2.517 million tons of waste paper were imported, with a total of 12.527 million tons and more than US $5.6 billion in foreign exchange. But the export is insignificant, which is worse than that of steel and chemical industry
2. Views on the impact of China's entry into WTO on the paper industry
2.1 it is generally believed that the price competitive advantage of imported paper will be increased and the energy to impact the domestic market will be increased due to the reduction of tariffs after China's entry into WTO. The second is to open the investment market, reduce the restrictions on foreign investment, and give preferential treatment to foreign-funded enterprises, which will increase the competitive pressure on the original backward domestic enterprises. Therefore, it is believed that after China's entry into WTO, paper-making enterprises will fall into great difficulties. Some departments estimate that after China's entry into the WTO, the impact of paper-making enterprises will reach 60%. Due to the downsizing and bankruptcy of some enterprises, the number of unemployed people can reach about 700000. Domestic dependence on imported paper has further increased, and the industrial situation is grim. Therefore, they believe that the harm outweighs the benefit
2.2 some people believe that the domestic paper industry has been in a very difficult situation in recent years, which is largely related to its low technology and quality. Compared with the capital and technology intensive modern paper industry, the downstream industries with paper as the main raw material, such as printing, publishing, packaging, cigarette and other industries, need less capital for modernization, the construction cycle is short, and they can realize their modernization faster. It is inevitable to put forward higher quality requirements for paper products. Under the current import tariff rate, the performance price ratio of some imported paper is better than that of domestic products, and users have the right to choose. For example, domestic coated paper is overstocked and imported in large quantities. There is no other way out for the paper industry without accelerating the elimination of the inferior and strengthening the strong and improving the performance price ratio of products
2.3 from the perspective of the existing tariff rate, the tax rate impacting the main varieties of domestic paper has been reduced to 12% - 15% in recent years (commercial pulp has been reduced to zero). Although it is higher than 5% - 6% in some developed countries, it is lower than the average 20% in Southeast Asia and South Asia. It is much lower than the 50% - 100% tax rate of China's long-term protected automobile industry. A country needs some protection for its infant industries, but over protection and lack of external pressure make it more difficult to change its backward appearance. It should also be noted that foreign-funded enterprises have developed rapidly in recent years. Although their paper without import tax has pressure on the overall market, the base is in line with the national strategy, but it has not crushed the domestic strong. It is a good thing to turn pressure into a driving force for self-improvement and development. We should welcome the entry of foreign capital and use their capital and technology to develop together with domestic enterprises in competition, which is beneficial to building China into a strong country in the paper industry
2.4 based on the above thinking, from the perspective of industrial development strategy, it is believed that after China's entry into WTO, it will be conducive to encouraging domestic paper enterprises to accelerate the adjustment and optimization of industrial organization, management system, product structure and raw material structure and technological progress through more fierce market competition; It is also conducive to attracting foreign investment and solving the lack of capital and technical difficulties in industrial development. This will accelerate the modernization of China's paper industry and solidly improve the competitiveness of the industry. Moreover, some problems have long existed. Even if China does not join the WTO, it cannot help but work hard to speed up the solution for the survival and development of the industry. For example, in order to meet the requirements of national environmental protection, meet the market demand for increasing production of medium and high-grade products, reduce waste, improve labor productivity and reduce costs, the impact of forcing existing enterprises to accelerate adjustment and transformation may exceed 60%. In addition, compared with foreign counterparts, the total output of paper and primary pulp in China in 1998 was more than 40 million tons compared with that in Japan and Canada. There were 51000 employees in Japan and 65000 employees in Canada, while there were more than 1.2 million people in China. Even if 700000 people were laid off, the labor productivity was still only one tenth of them. Without this impact, how can China's paper industry modernize and face the competition in the international market? Therefore, from the perspective of industrial modernization development, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. This understanding seems to be more in-depth and reasonable
3. After joining the WTO, the domestic paper industry needs to consider the countermeasures to be taken.
3.1 facing the upcoming challenges and opportunities, the basic countermeasures of China's paper industry should focus on comprehensively improving the quality and competitive strength of enterprises - high quality, low cost, high efficiency and clean production. We should mobilize the whole industry to take positive actions from the aspects of changing the operation and management mechanism, adjusting the enterprise organizational structure, technical structure, structure of raw materials that can not solve the problem of failure, product structure, etc. We should encourage and support the development of joint ventures and private enterprises, study the rules of the game of WTO and international experience, and suggest that the government give appropriate financial support to the industry and feasible policy protection within a certain period of time
3.2 actively promote the strategic reorganization of existing enterprises, optimize the organizational structure, and improve the industrial concentration. We should support and encourage a number of enterprises with strong strength and vitality to realize low-cost, unconventional and efficient development of enterprises by means of joint mergers and acquisitions across regions, departments, ownership and industries (such as forestry, packaging, etc.), vertical extension and diversified management, so as to quickly build a number of powerful industrial groups (Shandong Chenming Group has begun this exploration, which can be used for reference). Paper entrepreneurs should have a high sense of consciousness and urgency for institutional innovation. Institutional innovation will open the way for technological innovation
3.3 enterprises should pay attention to technological transformation and innovation and broaden the road of development. Facing the market and competition, focusing on the main objectives of quality, variety, cost and environmental protection, we should make more research, make prudent and decisive decisions, act according to our capabilities, avoid mistakes and strive for practical results. From the perspective of investment benefits, paper is first followed by pulp, and more waste paper and commercial pulp are used to achieve quick results; Small enterprises without scale advantages should pay attention to developing new varieties and small batch varieties in order to get rid of difficulties and survive
3.4 accelerate the elimination of inferior and backward productive forces, so as to facilitate the growth of advanced productive forces and focus on assistance. In order to stand on the competitive international market, China's paper industry must do something and not do something. Excessive protection and backwardness will hinder the development of the overall industry. The elimination of the fittest and the preservation of the strong are also the inevitable trend of development. Taking Shandong as an example, there were 805 paper-making enterprises in the province in 1995, with a total output of 2.31 million tons, which decreased to less than 200 in 1999. In four years, 3/4 of the total number was eliminated, but the total output increased to 3.53 million tons; With the increase of benefits and the relative reduction of pollution, there have been several star enterprises with strong vitality and the rapid development of output and benefits. Shandong is developing from a large papermaking province to a strong papermaking province
3.5 in order to remain invincible in the more fierce market competition and achieve smooth development, enterprises will rely to a large extent on knowledge, technology, high-quality environmental protection plastic bag sales, which is actually not ideal business management and technical personnel, rather than simply capital and material resources. Therefore, attaching importance to information and knowledge, cultivating and being good at using talents, attaching importance to the combination of production, study, research and marketing, being good at making correct decisions and taking decisive actions will be one of the basic countermeasures for China's paper enterprises to adapt to the new situation, and also the basic experience for a number of star enterprises to rise rapidly in recent years
3.6 papermaking is capital and technology intensive