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WTO NEWS: 2000 PRESS RELEASES

Press/189
8 September 2000
Albania joins the WTO

Albania became 138th member of the World Trade Organization today (8th September). WTO Director-General Mike Moore greeted the event by saying: “I welcome Albania into the multilateral trading system. Membership promises a more prosperous future and raised living standards for all Albanian citizens. I also believe that, by encouraging the trade links between countries, the WTO can help foster greater peace, stability and development in south-eastern Europe. Albania's membership brings this Organization ever closer to being a truly ‘World Trade Organization’.”

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Albania has agreed to assume its WTO obligations upon accession. In addition, it will sign on to the two plurilateral agreements on government procurement and on trade in civil aircraft. Albania's accession package includes market-access commitments on goods and services.

Within the region, Slovenia is already a member of the WTO and Croatia will become a member upon completion of the ratification procedures. Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are in the process of negotiating their accession to the WTO.

Albania applied for GATT 1947 membership in 1992. Negotiations on Albania's terms of accession to WTO started in earnest in 1998. The WTO General Council adopted the final results of these negotiations on 17 July 2000.

During that General Council meeting, Albania's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Trade, Ermelinda Meksi, said that WTO membership “presents us with a new role in the international community” and would help bring “improvement of the wellbeing and prosperity of my people.”

Overall, 30 governments are currently negotiating to join the WTO: Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cape Verde, People's Republic of China, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kazakstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lithuania, Moldova, Nepal, Oman, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sudan, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen.

Merchandise trade by product and region, 1998 — Albania Back to top
(major product groups)
(Million dollars)

 

North America

Western Europe

C./E: Europe/ Baltic States/CIS

World

 

exp

imp

exp

imp

exp

imp

exp

imp

Agricultural products

0.90

4.51

36.44

208.04

0.51

20.55

38.58

238.81

Food

0.49

4.48

19.17

196.07

0.15

20.28

20.39

226.51

Manufactures

0.04

4.21

139.55

509.72

0.78

31.74

140.50

558.67

Semi-manufactures
(other than chemicals)

0.02

0.62

11.16

118.83

0.22

4.92

11.52

125.81

Clothing

0.00

0.01

67.48

50.10

0.32

0.51

67.81

51.05

Consumer goods
(other than textiles and clothing)

0.01

0.49

50.99

88.29

0.17

1.91

51.17

92.25

Total merchandise (1)

3.47

9.07

201.38

759.89

1.97

52.92

207.67

840.76

(1) Includes unspecified products
Source: Comstudy/Comtrade, august 10, 2000