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The remarkable pace of China's economic development since the adoption of the open door policy has made and聽will continue to make, thanks to WTO accession, a palbable impact on the global economy for decades to come. China is now a leading exporter in several sectors of industry, foreign investment is soaring, new technologies and management techniques are being adopted, GDP growth remains at ever-robust levels and State Council's pledge to quadruple GDP by 2020 is all but becoming a reality.

Indeed, China's exemplary model of development has had a resounding influence on the debate聽among development theorists, providing clear evidence that opening to foreign trade and investment can be an all-important driver of growth. However, China remains a developing country with great challenges ahead. The complexities of history and culture, mixed with existing inequalities and imbalances in society pose a formidable task for China's leaders in the 21st century.聽Social and environmental concerns are fast-becoming a priority hand-in-hand with economic growth.

As China travels the reform path and takes on its increasingly important role in the world, the European Union (EU), China's largest trading partner, is committed to forging ever-closer cooperation in its comprehensive strategic partnership with China. It therefore gives me great pleasure to introduce the EU-China Trade Project, the European Commission's most important trade-related technical assistance project Worldwide, and the largest of its kind in China. The Project aims to provide capacity-building in support of institutional, policy and regulatory reforms across key areas of the economy as required by accession, ultimately supporting China's further integration into the world trading system.

Philip Bartley
EU Co-Director
EU-China Trade Project