China submits approval for WTO fishery agreement

2023-06-28 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has approved the World Trade Organization's agreement on ending subsidies of harmful fisheries, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted China's acceptance letter on the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Tuesday, marking the completion of all domestic legal steps needed for accepting the agreement.

China will participate in the second phase of fishery subsidies negotiations in a proactive and constructive manner, and help the smooth transition of the least developed countries, Wang said on Tuesday during his meeting with Okonjo-Iweala.

As the world's largest developing country, China will enjoy its rights in balance with fulfilling its obligations, Wang said, adding the country will deal with special and differential treatment in an autonomous and pragmatic approach and undertake obligations on par with its own economic development level and capacity.

The agreement was adopted at the WTO's Twelfth Ministerial Conference in June last year and will enter into force upon the acceptance of over two-thirds of WTO members.

It bans subsidies for vessels and operators engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and puts curbs on funding that supports the exploitation of overfished stocks.

Wang also noted China firmly supports the multilateral trading system and will fully and deeply participate in WTO reform negotiations so the organization can play a bigger role in global economic governance.

Okonjo-Iweala appreciated China's support for the multilateral trading system and free trade and spoke highly of China's constructive role in negotiations on reform of the investment dispute settlement system, investment facilitation and e-commerce, among others.

She said she looked forward to China's greater contributions to reform and boosting the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.

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