WTO Ministerial Conference 13-18 December 2005 - Hong
focus by the United Nations Office of the High Representative
for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing
Countries and Small Island Developing States
China calls for immediate tariff exemptions for Least Developed
Beijing, Dec 14 (PTI) China today said the
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) be granted exemption from tariffs
and quotas immediately and urged WTO members to take into account
the world's most populous nation's "special concerns."
At the same time, developing countries should also be given
flexibility on special products and special safeguard mechanism,
Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai told a plenary session
of the sixth Ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation
in Hong Kong.
"The talks should give developing countries real and tangible
benefits to boost their confidence in the Doha Round talks,"
Bo, who is heading the Chinese delegation, said.
Bo said he was "proud" of the Chinese government's
decision to exempt the debts owed by the least-developed countries
before the end of last year.
China decided to write off the debts of 38 developing countries
in Asia and Africa amounting to a total of 13.778 billion yuan
(about 1.7 billion U.S. Dollars).
China supports the idea that the Doha Round talks should reach
a balanced agreement, he said, pointing to an overall balance
which is conducive to the development of developing economies.
"Currently, significant imbalance does exist between developed
countries and developing countries and such imbalance has affected
the healthy development of the world economy," he said.
Bo noted that agriculture is the core of the Doha Round and
both rich and poor countries face pressures. "But the pressures
they face are not the same with each other," he said. PTI