Taiwan opens market in bid for WTO membership card

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Taiwan is preparing to offer foreign insurers improved access to its domestic market as part of an agreement to secure membership in the World Trade Organization. But the island's prickly relations with China may put off the realization of these benefits for several years. Taiwan officials say they have all but completed negotiations with WTO members on the terms of its entry into the trade body-negotiations that began in 1992. Taiwan's government promises to open the …

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…agreement it negotiated with Taiwan. Under WTO rules, an applicant can't be admitted to the organization until it has completed successful negotiations with all members requesting bilateral trade agreements. Taiwan had hoped to sidestep these problems by riding into the WTO on China's coattails, but China's WTO accession prospects have gone sour since it broke off bilateral talks with the United States last May after the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade,Yugoslavia.