World Trade Organization chief Mike Moore now thinks China probably will become a WTO member in November when ministers meet, according to a Reuters report.

"I am convinced that China will be a member at the conference in Qatar," Moore said in an interview with Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, adding that the WTO's members would have to approve China's entry.

Moore also said entry negotiations with Russia would take less than the 10 years it was first thought might be required. He said the chances of an agreement to start a new trade round this year had improved.

"We have enough time until the end of July to agree the pre-requisites for a new round of liberalization which can then be started at the next WTO ministerial meeting in Qatar in November," Moore said.

But he warned that if the WTO's 140 members stuck to their previous positions, the meeting in Qatar would have the same result as the now infamous Seattle ministerial meeting in 1999, which collapsed amid violent anti-globalization street protests.

Reuters