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Abstract

The People's Republic of China has been working for over two decades to develop a domestic biotechnology industry. Even though China is a developing country, it is set to become a significant international player in the field of biotechnology. China's accession to the World Trade Organization in December of 2001 means that China's trade and regulatory regime should now reflect its WTO commitments. This paper outlines the development of the Chinese biotechnology industry and how it may evolve in the future. It assesses China's current approach to trade and regulation of biotechnology in relation to GATT rules on trade in goods and the TRIPS commitments pertaining to the protection of intellectual property. The conclusion is that China's trade and intellectual property regimes currently deviate considerably from WTO norms and number of trade disputes are likely to arise in the near future.

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