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Geneva, 10 September 2001

Moore urges completion of work on China and Chinese Taipei accessions

Director-General Mike Moore today urged WTO member governments involved in Working Parties on the accession of China and Chinese Taipei to resolve this week all outstanding issues on the accessions so that both can join the organization at the earliest possible date.

Formal working parties to be held for China (13 September) and Chinese Taipei (14 September) are expected to complete remaining work on the two accessions and recommend approval of the two bids to Ministers meeting at the 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar in November. Should Ministers at Doha approve the recommendations, as they are expected to do, China and Chinese Taipei would begin domestic ratification procedures for the accession. Following ratification, the Director-General's office is notified that those procedures have been completed and 30 days after this notification, China and Chinese Taipei would become members of the organization.

“We are very, very close to an historic moment,” Mr. Moore said. “Bringing China and Chinese Taipei into the WTO means making this organization closer to being a truly World Trade Organization. China and Chinese Taipei are the world's fifth and ninth largest traders respectively. Their membership in the rules-based multilateral trading system will bring greater stability and certainty to the global economy at a time when such stability is sorely needed. These accessions also offer the opportunity to use our system of rules and dispute settlement as an instrument of peace between peoples. I urge all parties to make every effort to bring resolution to these two accession bids.”