Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99
The impending entry of Albania and Croatia will expand
WTO membership to 139 governments. With the addition of
Cape Verde and Yemen, there are now 29
countries--including China, the Russian Federation and
Saudi Arabia--negotiating their membership into the
Director-General Mike Moore welcomed the General Council
decisions as historic for the two countries,
which have been engaged in membership negotiations for
the past seven years.
Moore noted that the decisions were made on the day when
in 1947, the 23 original members signed up to the WTO's
predecessor, the GATT.
Albania, the Director-General said that "joining the
WTO sends a powerful signal to the world that Albania has
opted for reform rather than reaction, openness rather
Croatia, Mr. Moore said that WTO membership should
boost economic growth, and raise living standards in
Croatia still further.
Moore expressed the hope that through closer trade
the WTO can, in a small way, help foster greater
peace and stability in south-eastern Europe.
the 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
Minister of Economy Goranko Fizulic expressed confidence
that membership shall have a significant positive
effect on the Croatian economy, as it is in many aspects
crucial for the ongoing process of economic