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Terms For Yemen's Accession To WTO Agreed

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

30 September 2013


The terms of Yemen's membership in the World Trade Organization were agreed upon by members of the Working Party on the Accession of Yemen on September 26, 2013. The accession package will be presented to the 159 WTO members and subsequently to the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, December 3-6, for a formal decision by ministers.

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the decision of the Working Party: "I am honored to close my first accession chapter as the new WTO Director-General. The accession of Yemen will further the universal nature of the multilateral trading system. I am sure that integration into the global trading system will help spur Yemen's economic growth and promote further social development."

While negotiating the terms took some time, the Director-General quoted a Yemeni proverb to illustrate the importance of ensuring the right legal framework for the accession.

"Setting the conditions before you make an agreement is better than having an argument once the deal has been done," said Mr Azevêdo.

In the 11th meeting of the Working Party, WTO members concluded 13 years of negotiations. Yemen's terms of membership, contained within its accession package, include reforms to Yemen's trade laws, commitments on market access for goods and services, a draft decision for adoption by the General Council, and Yemen's draft Protocol of Accession.

Yemen has signed bilateral agreements on market access for goods and services with Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, El Salvador, Honduras, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine and the United States.

For goods, Yemen has committed to bind its tariffs to an average of 21.1 per cent for all products – 24.9 per cent on average for agricultural products and 20.5 per cent for other products.

In services, Yemen is committed to opening its markets to 11 sectors, covering 78 sub-sectors.

TAGS: training | law | tariffs | Yemen | agreements | trade | services | Work

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