l The Accession Process
Taiwan applied to become a GATT member on January 1, 1990, as the "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu" (also referred to as Chinese Taipei). After years of hard efforts, multiple bilateral and multilateral consultations were finally concluded in 2001. The eleventh session of the Working Party on Taiwan's accession was convened on September 18th of 2001, and completed the examination of the Protocol of Accession, the Working Party Report, the Schedule of Tariff Concessions and the Schedule of Specific Commitments on Services. Taiwan’s accession was approved on November 11th at the fourth WTO Ministerial Conference. The following day, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi represented Chinese Taipei to sign the Protocol of Accession. On November 16th, the Legislative Yuan reviewed and approved related accession documents, four days later, President Chen Shui-bian passed Taiwan’s accession agreements. On December 2nd, Taiwan informed the WTO Secretariat its formal acceptance of the Protocol. After 12 years of accession process, on January 1st, 2002, Chinese Taipei formally joined the WTO as its 144th member.