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Today’s Top Headlines

Vanuatu's WTO Accession Enters Final Straight

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

08 April 2011

The World Trade Organization has declared that its membership and Vanuatu have reiterated their joint determination to complete the territory’s accession process.

The Working Party on Vanuatu's accession was reconvened informally on April 4, 2011, to discuss Vanuatu's future WTO membership. Members reviewed Vanuatu's updated accession package and agreed to resolve the few remaining issues in the coming weeks.

In October 2001, the Working Party adopted the accession package but Vanuatu requested more time to consider its accession terms. In 2008, Vanuatu indicated its interest to resume and conclude its WTO accession. Vanuatu's accession package was technically updated to take into account new developments in its trade regime.

At the meeting on April 4, Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa said that his country had needed time to evaluate the package, build ownership and enact necessary legislation. He added that Vanuatu had played its part and asked the WTO members to open the doors of membership. He said that Vanuatu's objective was to conclude its accession before the UN LDC (Least Developed Country) Conference which will take place in Istanbul from May 9 to May 13. Members agreed that Vanuatu's accession would be a great contribution of the WTO to the UN LDC Conference.

TAGS: tax | international financial centres (IFC) | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | Vanuatu | legislation | trade

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