The establishment of a new multilateral trading mechanism will face great challenges if the new round of the WTO negotiations were not launched soon and if the current trend of rationalization continued to grow, Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng said here Tuesday.
During his meeting with George Yeo Yong-Boon, Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, Shi said that the launch of the new round of WTO negotiations will be the focus of the 2001 APEC MRT (ministers responsible for trade) meeting to be opened here Wednesday.
The two ministers expressed the hope that the new round of WTO multilateral trade negotiations should take into consideration the interests of developing countries as set by the Uruguay round of talks.
In meeting with Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei, Shi extended congratulations to the minister on Brunei's successful hosting of the APEC meetings last year.
He noted that recent information from Geneva indicated that new and favorable trends have appeared for the launch of the new round of WTO negotiations. He said that the APEC MRT meeting will send a positive signal on this issue to the world.
He said that APEC economies have made a lot of proposals to the Osaka Action Agenda and put forward a lot of positive ideas about the Guidelines of Individual Action Plans and Collective Action Plans, adding that related issues will be further discussed at the MRT meeting.
Rahman said that China has done a great job in preparing and hosting the APEC meetings this year. He said that China has chosen a very good theme for the MRT meeting, hoping that the two-day event turn out a success.