The Republic of China and its relationship with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one riddled with ups and downs, said President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday.
The president made the remarks after he met Honduran WTO Ambassador Dacio Castillo and his Panamanian counterpart Alfredo Suescum in the Presidential Office yesterday; this was Castillo's third visit to Taiwan while Suescum was on his first.
Although Taiwan joined the organisation in 2002, it has not made much progress in the Doha Development Rounds, which was a setback for the nation, Ma said.
"In the 1940s, there was no WTO nor the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) yet ... Taiwan was originally a founding member of GATT, but lost its membership to the People's Republic of China; we rejoined in 1966 as an observing member but lost our membership in the United Nations in 1971," Ma began.
After much anticipation, Taiwan finally joined the WTO in hopes of taking an important role in the global economy, engaging in more trade negotiations that called for trade freedom, said Ma.