> General Council
> Press release: WTO
General Council successfully adopts Saudi Arabia’s terms of Accession
Statement by the
> Statement by H.E. Dr.
Hashim A. Yamani
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At the outset, allow me to say that it is a great pleasure and
honour for me to welcome, on behalf of all WTO Members and observer
delegations, H.E. Dr. Hashim A. Yamani, Minister of Industry and Commerce of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome his colleague, H.E. Mr
Abdullah Zainal, Minister of State, as well as His Royal Highness, Prince
Abdul-aziz bin Salman bin Abdul-aziz, Deputy Minister of Petroleum. It is
also an honour for me to welcome to this Council meeting Dr Fawaz Alamy,
Chief negotiator for Saudi Arabia as well as the other members of the
delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I would like to start by recalling that in July 1993, the GATT Council
established a Working Party to examine the request by Saudi Arabia for
accession, which was subsequently converted into a WTO Working Party. The
Report of the Working Party is now before the General Council for
consideration and adoption in the documents to which I have referred.
It gives me very great pleasure to welcome the Decision we have just taken
on the Accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the World Trade
Organization. Accession to the WTO is a long and complicated negotiation,
but I think all would agree that the final package of terms and conditions
of entry reflect the constructive spirit with which the Members and the
Kingdom have participated in the process.
I believe that Saudi Arabia's entry into the WTO will once again clearly
signal our willingness to move towards greater universality in our
membership and to increase the depth and diversity of this organization. I
would like to take this opportunity also to extend my congratulations to H.E.
Mr. Yamani, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Saudi Arabia, and to his
delegation and Government, on the successful completion of the WTO process.
I should add that immediately following our Council meeting today, a brief
ceremony for signature of the Protocol of Accession will take place. I
should also share the information that as I understand, with Minister
Yamani's signature, Saudi Arabia will become the 149th Member of the WTO
thirty days later which will be just prior to the start of the Hong Kong