WTO Chooses Hong Kong For Next Ministerial Meeting

By John S. McClenahen Reflecting the difficulty in getting the current round of world trade negotiations restarted after last month's fractious meeting in Cancun, Mexico, members of the 146-nation World Trade Organization (WTO) have designated the place but not set the date for the next full-dress meeting of trade ministers. The Sixth Ministerial Conference is to be held in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. However, a date won't be set until "a clearer picture has emerged" of what the next steps are in the Doha Round of world trade talks. China has told the WTO it will need about a year to prepare for the conference. The negotiations, named for the city in Qatar where they were launched, are slated to conclude by Jan. 1, 2005.

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