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|Saturday, June 17, 2000, updated at 13:30(GMT+8)|
China's Entry into WTO Drawing Near: MinisterChina's entry into the World Trade Organization is drawing near, China's foreign trade minister told a forum in Beijing on Friday.
Addressing the "21st Century Forum -- Conference 2000", Shi Guangsheng, minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China has to finalize bilateral deals with Mexico, Switzerland, Ecuador and Costarica before it can join the WTO.
Of 135 members of the WTO, 32 have already signed bilateral negotiations with China that will see the country become a WTO member, said the minister.
China is improving bilateral negotiations with the five aforementioned countries. Negotiations are expected to conclude soon.
The minister said a WTO meeting is soon to be held in Geneva on multinational negotiations and final legal procedure for China's accession to the WTO.
"We believe China's accession into the WTO is not far away", said the minister.
The Forum, organized by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body, concluded in Beijing Friday.
Some 76 participants from more than 20 countries and regions attended the three-day conference, discussing economic globalization and its impact in Asia, especially in China.
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