The Chinese government has reinforced its pledge to further open the country's vast markets to overseas advertising companies.

Wang Zhongfu, head of the General Administration for Industry and Commerce, says China will honour its commitment to the World Trade Organisation to allow agencies to set up shop in the country independently by the end of 2005.

Until now, overseas companies have had to link up financially with the state to work in China.

Speaking this week at the International Advertising Associaton's World Congress in Beijing, Mr Zhongfu said: "Opening the market is also conducive to the development of China's advertising industry and its exchanges with foreign counterparts."

He also promised fair competition in the market and the rooting out of 'false' commercials.

Data sourced from: People’s Daily Online; additional content by WARC staff