EU hails China’s final step towards WTO

The EU has welcomed the successful completion of a meeting in Geneva that has prepared the way for China’s entry into the WTO. Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said at the end of the meeting: “China’s accession will make the WTO a truly global organisation.”

The EU reached agreement earlier in the year on outstanding bilateral trade issues that stood in the way of it supporting China’s WTO membership.

One key focus of both bilateral EU-China relations and China’s WTO membership was the issue of operating terms and conditions for life insurance companies in China. This question has now been resolved, although a question mark hangs over whether the solution that has been agreed is enough to avoid problems arising in the future as it is open to widely differing interpretations.

 

It is expected that WTO members will take the formal decision to admit China to the WTO at the fourth WTO ministerial meeting in Qatar in November. Ratification procedures should be completed by early in 2002 after which China would be a full member.

 

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