Taiwan will benefit from 'developed' country status in WTO: Deng

10/14/2018 05:54 PM
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Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) / CNA file photo
Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) Taiwan's decision to be designated as developed economy in the World Trade Organization (WTO) shows its commitment to trade liberalization and open market and will be beneficial in the long term, Taiwan's top trade negotiator said Sunday.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), head of the Office of Trade Negotiations, confirmed that Taiwan had agreed to change its WTO status from a "developing" member to a "developed" member, and he told CNA that the new status will help Taiwan in its future negotiations.

Taiwan became a member of WTO in 2002 under the name "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)" and had been participating until recently as a developing member.

Its recent change of status was revealed by Dennis Shea, deputy U.S. Trade Representative and ambassador to the WTO, at a seminar in Washington last Friday.

The WTO adopts a "Principle of Self Selection," meaning WTO member governments are generally grouped as "developed members" or "developing members," according to their level of development, and it is up to each member to decide.

The WTO agreements contain special provisions that give developing member countries special rights and allow them more favorable treatment.

These special provisions include, for example, longer time periods for implementing agreements and commitments, and measures to increase trade opportunities, according to the WTO website.

Taiwan first joined the WTO as a developing economy but over the years has made significant strides toward actively engaging in liberalization initiatives and becoming more open to international trade and integration with the global economy, according to Deng.

In view of the huge gaps among the various developing countries in the WTO, Deng said, many developed countries think it would be unreasonable for all developing countries to be given the same preferential treatment in the WTO, he said.

In consideration of Taiwan's future development, Deng said, the government decided it would be better to engage in future WTO negotiations as a developed country, he said.

In such negotiations, other countries would get a clearer signal of Taiwan's intentions to move toward trade liberalization and greater market opening to better connect with the global market, he said.

The change is expected to benefit Taiwan in its international trade negotiations, he stressed.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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