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Bo: Push Forward Doha Negotiations

With only four months to go before the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Hong Kong, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations have entered a crucial phase, and China is willing to push forward the process together with other WTO members, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai in Dalian on Wednesday.

Bo was attending the two-day WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting. Bo met separately with United States Trade Representative Rob Portman, Brazil's Foreign Affairs Minister Celso Amorim, and WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi. They exchanged views on current DDA talks.

In a meeting with Portman, Bo said that China has worked hard to boost the DDA and seeks to reach a converging point with the US to push forward the negotiation process.

Having stated China's stand on the DDA negotiations, Bo stressed that China made a lot of commitments before joining the WTO, and has implemented these commitments despite the challenges.

Bo said that China had cut its overall tariffs from 42 percent in 1992 to the present 9.9 percent. As a developing and new member of the WTO, China has made huge efforts in expanding its opening-up policy.

In the new round of DDA negotiations, Bo said, China's status as a developing and new member of WTO should be given full recognition.

In a meeting with Brazil's Foreign Affairs Minister Celso Amorim, Bo said that agriculture is the major subject of the DDA negotiations, and that the G20 members should strengthen coordination on this issue.

Bo outlined China's stand on subjects including the exemption of export subsidiaries and the expansion of market access for agricultural products.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2005)

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