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WTO NEWS: 1998 PRESS RELEASES

PRESS/114
14 October 1998

Kyrgyz Republic to become WTO member

The WTO's General Council agreed today to adopt the working party report and protocol of accession for the Kyrgyz Republic. WTO Members concluded their negotiations on the Kyrgyz Republic's goods and services trade and adopted the draft protocol of accession and the Working Party's draft report in
July 1998. The documents constitute the set of WTO obligations, tariff concessions on goods and specific commitments on services made by the Kyrgyz Republic during almost two and a half years of negotiations with other WTO Members.

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Mr. Esengul Omuraliev, Head of the Kyrgyz's Republic's Inter-Ministerial Commission on WTO, signed the protocol of accession following the adoption of the protocol by the General Council. The Kyrgyz Republic will become a member of the WTO 30 days after it notifies the WTO Secretariat that its national ratification proceedings have been completed.

The Kyrgyz Republic first applied for WTO membership in February 1996. A working party was established in April 1996 and a first meeting was held in March 1997. Of the new republics created after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union in 1991 and which are currently seeking WTO membership, the Kyrgyz Republic is the first to have completed its negotiations. The following 30 governments have requested to join the WTO. Their applications are being considered by accession working parties: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Nepal, Oman, Sultanate of, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sudan, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam(1)

(1) In addition to the Kyrgyz Republic, the General Council agreed on 14 October to also adopt the protocol of accession for Latvia.