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Geneva, 4 July 2001

Moore welcomes progress on China accession to WTO

Director-General Mike Moore today welcomed the substantial progress made by World Trade Organization member governments in their efforts to complete work on the accession of China into the organization.

He said the progress made by the Working Party on China's accession this week has improved the prospects for a decision on China's entry this November at the 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar.

“It would be a splendid thing if Ministers could take this decision in Doha and clear the way for China to join the family of governments at our negotiating table. The very good work this week by member governments and Working Party Chairman Pierre-Louis Girard (Switzerland) has brought us one significant step closer to attaining that objective. In any event, completion of the working-party process will clearly constitute a major milestone,” Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Moore urged member governments to use the time available before the next Working Party meeting during the week of 16 July to resolve all remaining differences and agree on the documents that must be completed before the Working Party can recommend China's accession to Ministers.

“We are now very close, but we are not there yet. I urge governments to make every effort to conclude these negotiations as quickly as possible,” Mr. Moore said.

Following a week of intense negotiation, the Working Party on China's accession reached agreement in important areas of its work and succeeded in isolating the remaining differences. The next working party meeting is scheduled for the week of 16 July. Ambassador Girard told member governments that he expected that meeting to focus on comprehensive drafts of the Working Party Report and Protocol of Accession.