China stood at the bottom in terms of market openness, a global report showed Monday, spawning concerns over its protectionist stance amid heightening tension with South Korea over the deployment of a US missile defense system.
China ranked 126th out of a total of 136 countries in terms of market accessibility, according to the latest Global Enabling Trade Report, a biennial finding published in November by the World Economic Forum.
Image representing the Chinese economy (123RF)
It stood 61st in the Enabling Trade Index, a measure gauging a country's market openness, scoring 4.5 out of 7 points among the cited nations, it showed.
In comparison, Singapore at the top of the list had a score of 6 points, Britain got the 8th spot with 5.5 and the United States at 22nd received 5.2 points, the report said. South Korea came in at 27th on the list.
The ETI was rated based on the extent of a country's ability to embrace market accessibility, infrastructure and its business environment, among other categories, and is widely used to judge its credibility as a free trade nation.
Despite being the world's second-largest market after the US, the latest findings attest to China's lukewarm stance toward a free market, although it did well in certain areas checked.
It stayed among the top 15 for its land and marine infrastructure, but its average tariff of 11.1 percent clearly showed that it remains one of the most closed countries in the world, the report said.
In comparison, South Korea ranked 10th in infrastructure rating, with the US coming in at eighth and Japan at fourth.
In regards to market accessibility, South Korea stood at 99th place, with the ranking for the United States and Japan at 105th and 113th, respectively, according to the report. (Yonhap)