APEC MRT Calls for New WTO Talks

Most participants in the ongoing APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) have urged that a new round of WTO multilateral trade talks be opened at an early date.

They have also stressed the importance of urgency, flexibility and the balance of interests of the various parties in the new round of talks, said a senior Chinese foreign trade official.

At a news briefing Wednesday afternoon in Zhouzhuang, in neighboring Jiangsu Province, Long Yongtu, chief negotiator of China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, said almost all the APEC member economies feel it is urgent to launch a new round of WTO talks.

The multilateral trade system is in an extremely difficult situation, as various kinds of regional trade arrangements and agreements have emerged since the failure of the Seattle Meeting in 1999, said Long.

He quoted Michael Moore, director-general of the WTO, as saying that the multilateral trade system is at a crossroad, and a number of APEC member economies believe the system has already entered a critical stage.

He stressed that it is imperative to launch a new round of WTO talks to bring vigor to the multilateral trade system, which is critical to the existence of the system.

"The WTO cannot afford a second failure in Doha," Long stressed.

Full flexibility, which will contribute to the early launching of a new round of WTO negotiations, requires mutual understanding between the developed and developing members of the WTO. In particular, the developed countries should understand the difficulties facing the developing countries, said Long.

It is most important that the governments of the WTO members should show further flexibility.

Full consideration should be given to the balance of interests in the new round of WTO talks, which has to reflect the interests of both the developed and developing countries in a balanced manner, Long noted.

(Xinhua 06/07/2001)

In This Series

APEC to Contribute to Multilateral Trade Mechanism: Long

China's Stance on WTO Entry "Consistent and Active"

Zhouzhuang Welcomes APEC Meeting Guests

APEC Convenes Trade Meeting in Shanghai

Shi Guangsheng Meets US Trade Representative

President Jiang Sends Congratulatory Letter to APEC MRT Meeting

APEC MRT Meeting Opens

Road Upgrade for APEC Meeting

Telecom Operators Gear up for APEC Meeting

Chinese Trade Minister Meets Singaporean, Brunei Guests

Chinese Trade Minister Meets NZ Counterpart

APEC Reaches Consensus on Key Issues



APEC 2001 in China

Web Link