Search BBC
BBC World Service
BBC BBC News BBC Sport BBC Weather BBC World Service Worldservice languages
spacer gif
You are in: Home page > News English > Words in the News
Learning English
spacer gif
Business Words in the News
Friday 09 November 2001
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  WTO Head Mike Moore
World Trade Organisation meets in Doha
Summary: Today the World Trade Organisation starts its fourth ministerial conference in the Qatari capital Doha. A number of subjects will be discussed including trade liberalisation. The meeting is also due to welcome the membership of China and Taiwan. This report from Andrew Walker.
The News Listen  
  The push for a fairly wide-ranging round of free-trade talks comes mainly from Europe and Japan, with support from the United States. The developed world is keen on new measures to open markets to make it easier for their exporters. But many developing nations are very uneasy about the idea. Many of them are more concerned about the implementation of earlier agreements, which they say have not yielded sufficient benefits, and impose excessive burdens on their own governments. In addition, there are several specific issues that are very controversial, including access to patented medicines at affordable prices for the developing countries, an issue raised particularly by HIV and AIDS.

What will be less controversial among the member governments is the admission of China and Taiwan to the organisation. China, by some measures, is the second largest economy in the world, and its absence from the WTO's membership list is a gaping hole. It has been negotiating terms for fifteen years. For the Chinese leadership, WTO membership is an important part of its economic strategy. It will expose Chinese business to more competition, which is likely to force it to improve its efficiency.

Andrew Walker, BBC News, Doha.

The Words Listen
covering many different subjects

not happy

  the implementation of earlier agreements
the putting into practice of decisions that were reached at previous meetings


  excessive burdens
problems which are greater than the benefits

  patented medicines
medicines for which the rights to produce and sell are controlled by particular companies

if something is controversial then it is difficult for many people to agree on, each person or group will have strong feelings for or against

  a gaping hole
a very big gap

long term plan

  Read more about this story  

BBC copyright
Learning English | News English | Business English | Watch and Listen
Grammar and Vocabulary | Communicate | Quizzes | For teachers
Downloads | FAQ | Contact us