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Australia welcomes conclusion of negotiations on Taiwan's entry to the WTO.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media release

Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile

Wednesday, 19 September 2001 / MVT131/2001

Australia Welcomes Conclusion of Negotiations on Taiwan's Entry to the WTO

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today welcomed the completion of negotiations on Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.

“Australia stands to benefit significantly from the trade liberalisation that will result from Taiwan’s membership of the WTO,” Mr Vaile said.

“The WTO Working Party on Taiwan’s accession adopted its final report last night after nearly 10 years of negotiations.  Taiwan is Australia’s eighth largest trading partner.

“This is very positive news for Australian industries exporting agricultural and manufactured products as well as services.  We can look forward to the WTO soon providing yet more benefits to Australia.

“The negotiated outcome will deliver cuts in Taiwan’s tariffs for key Australian export industries, including beef, sheepmeat, dairy, horticulture, seafood, processed foods, wine, automobiles, aluminium, iron and steel, chemicals and sugar.  Taiwan will remove or significantly liberalise import quotas on a range of products of export interest to Australia, including for liquid milk, sugar, nashi pears, rice, animal offal, apples, mangoes, peaches, plums, citrus fruit and passenger motor vehicles.

“Taiwan will also significantly liberalise a number of service sectors, allowing Australian service suppliers to increase the scope of their business activities and compete more effectively.  These benefits will flow to suppliers of professional, financial, advertising, computing, construction, distribution, audiovisual, environmental and telecommunications services.”

Taiwan will also adopt all WTO rules, and will undertake not to introduce export subsidies in the agricultural sector.

“These are real new opportunities and effectively demonstrate the enormous benefit the WTO delivers to Australia,” Mr Vaile said.

“As with China’s accession, the world’s Ministers responsible for trade will be able to take a formal decision on Taiwan’s accession at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in November, after which Taiwan will be able join the WTO.”

Contact: James Baker (Ministerial) 02 6277 7420, Nicole Guihot (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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