26 Jun 2012

Thomas Cottier’s visit to Taiwan

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Taiwan’s accession to the WTO, a conference upheld the multilateral principle which is of specific relevance to the country: the WTO is the only international organisation that the country is a member to.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Thomas Cottier spent four days in Taipeh at the beginning of June, together with Niall Meagher, designated director of the Advisory Centre on WTO law in Geneva (ACWL). They discussed trade issues with government departments, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, large governmental think tanks, the WTO Centre and the National University College of Law. Thomas Cottier spoke at the Conference on the 10th Anniversary of the accession of Taiwan to the WTO on the future of the WTO.

At the conference, both Thomas Cottier’s talk and the online speech by Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, reiterated the importance of future WTO negotiations as the globalised world increasingly turns to regulatory issues which can best be addressed on the multilateral level. Of particular interest to the local organisers were discussions on future bilateral investment treaties, as Taiwan's Economic Framework Agreement with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offers an excellent platform for entering the Chinese market. Taiwan is the largest investor in the PRC and is leader in information technology.