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After Nepal joined on 23 April 2004, Cambodia is now the second
least-developed country to join the WTO through the full working party
negotiation process. It brings the current number of least-developed
countries in the WTO to 32.
membership agreement was approved in Cancún on 11 September 2003, Cambodia
told the General Council on 11 February 2004 that its ratification was held
up because of delays in setting up a new government. The Cambodian
Parliament finally ratified the deal in September 2004, and following
standard practice Cambodia became a member one month after it informed the
Cambodia applied to join the WTO in
Another 24 countries are
negotiating membership (listed from oldest to most recent application):
Algeria, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Ukraine, Sudan,
Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Seychelles, Tonga, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Andorra,
Laos, Samoa, Lebanese Republic, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bhutan, Cape Verde,
Yemen, Serbia and Montenegro, Bahamas, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, and Libya.
Eight are least-developed: Bhutan, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Laos, Samoa, Sudan,
Vanuatu and Yemen.
Vanuatu has completed the
negotiations but no further action has been taken since the working party’s
last meeting on 29 October 2001.