is a major step forward in China's accession to the WTO. I have said many times that we
are not a World Trade Organization until China has joined. China must still reach
agreement with other member governments and we need to complete important technical talks
before China can take her rightful place at the table of great trading nations. But this
significant breakthrough has certainly given this process real momentum. A door to
history has been opened and now member governments must walk through it together,"
Mr. Moore said.
The Director-General said he
hoped this important agreement would also stimulate breakthroughs in accession talks with
the other 30 governments negotiating to join the WTO. While stressing the importance of
candidates joining on a sound commercial and legal basis, Mr. Moore said it was vital that
as many governments as possible be granted accession in the very near future.
representing 1.5 billion people are working hard to join us. Virtually all of these
governments represent developing countries or economies in transition. This is a strong
referendum in support of this organization as an important tool in development, growth and
better jobs. Bringing these governments into the multilateral trading system ranks among
my top priorities," Mr. Moore said.
which has been negotiating entry into the WTO and its predecessor organization the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade for 13 years, must conclude bilateral market access
agreements with dozens of other member governments. Following completion of these
bilateral talks, the process moves to a multilateral setting in Geneva where member
governments must agree on technical protocol of accession issues. These discussions, held
in the WTO's Working Party on Chinese accession, centre on establishing the legal
framework for China's entry.
substantial amount of preparatory work involved, a meeting of this Working Party will not
be convened until after the WTO's 3rd Ministerial Conference in Seattle 30
November-3 December. Mr. Moore said China's status as an observer nation at the
Ministerial Conference will take on much greater meaning following the agreement in
Seattle meeting of trade ministers from the 135 WTO member governments will set the agenda
for trade negotiations over the next few years in agriculture, services and perhaps other