Ministers from WTO member governments had formally
approved Chinese Taipei’s package on 11 November. Following
today’s signing, Chinese Taipei’s next step is to ratify the
agreements. A special meeting of the legislature is scheduled to start
discussing ratification on 16 November. Chinese Taipei will
become the WTO’s 144th member 30 days after ratification.
Taipei’s membership agreement is about 1,200 pages in total, and
weighs about 13 kg.
ministers continued their lengthy discussions on the draft
declarations and decisions. They had already worked late into the
of the work continued to be in various forms of consultations with the
“Friends of the Chair” assigned to handle specific subjects —
some open to all delegations, some with individual delegations, and
some in small groups of key negotiators (see 10 November
summary for an explanation).
the evening the chairman, Qatari Finance, Economy and Trade Minister
Youssef Hussain Kamal, reconvened the heads of delegation for the six
Friends of the Chair to report on their consultations.
property (TRIPS)/Public health/Access to medicines — Minister
Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista of Mexico reported considerable progress
in the consultations. He said a new draft has been prepared, and that
it is almost a final draft.
— Minister George Yeo of Singapore had little new to report because
overall the position remains the same.
— Minister Pascal Couchepin of Switzerland reported encouraging
developments on a number of subjects such as subsidies and customs
valuation, but there had been no progress on textiles.
— Minister Heraldo Muñoz Valenzuela of Chile reported little
change. Delegations still differ on the question of whether there
should be negotiations, he said.
issues — Minister Pierre Pettigrew of Canada said the meetings
had not been “very comforting”, with few results so far.
— Minister Alec Erwin of South Africa reported progress in some
areas, but he did not specify what these are. He said difficulties
remain over fishing subsidies.
conference chairperson said he will call another heads of delegation
meeting for tomorrow.
all this was going on, ministers continue to make their formal statements
in the plenary sessions of the Ministerial Conference