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Canada, China to Ink Deal
Canadian Foreign Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew on Nov. 16 confirmed his country's readiness to sign a deal with China on its entry into the World Trade Organization.

"Canada is well advanced in its negotiations with China, and we are confident that we can reach an agreement before the next WTO Ministerial Meeting in Seattle," the minister told Xinhua News Agency.

The Seattle meeting is set for November 30 to December 3.

He said "China's chances of joining the WTO are not only good but its entry is imminent" once the organization's members negotiate an agreement on China's accession.

Pettigrew spoke to Xinhua a day after China and the United States signed a breakthrough agreement in Beijing on China's entry into the 135-member trade club.

China is yet to reach similar deals with Canada and the European Union to consummate 13 years of effort to join the world's biggest trade body.

Also on Tuesday, France called on China to sign a similar deal with the European Union.

"France is happy about this, but it is advisable that to complete this they reach an agreement of the same kind with the EU," said French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne Gazeau-Secret.

She said the China-US agreement covers only part of the European interests in its trade with China.

"We hope that China will be willing to reach a balanced agreement with the EU," she added.

In the United States, meanwhile, Hollywood is happy about the signing of the trade deal despite the limited business movie-makers can do in China, the Daily Variety reported on Tuesday.

China's entry into the WTO would allow US studios to double the number of film exports to 20 per year and reduce the threat of copyright piracy, the trade journal said.

Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, called the deal "heartening."

"We are joyful that our friends in China have recognized the worth of American films in their country," he told Daily Variety.

Penetrating China's market has been a high priority for Valenti.

(Xinhua 11/18/1999)

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