14 June 2000
Georgia joins the WTO
Georgia became the 137th member of the World Trade Organization today (14 June). WTO Director-General Mike Moore welcomed the event by saying: I congratulate Georgia on its swift accession and the comprehensive commitments it has taken on. This accession is particularly noteworthy given Georgias remarkable transition to a market economy. Georgia is the fourth former Soviet republic to join the WTO and has done so in less than 4 years after applying for membership.
At the General Council meeting of 6 October 1999, Mr. V. Lordkipanidze, State Minister of Georgia, said: "We believe that expansion of the multilateral trading system will help to stop economic nationalism and protectionism, give countries a fair foothold on the global trading market, thus contributing to a stable and continued economic growth world-wide." He added: "I am convinced that by assuming their rightful place in the global trading system, Georgia and other countries in transition will soon see prosperity and stability increase along with their new, expanded activity in the world economic arena."
At the same meeting, Mrs. Anne Anderson (Ireland), chairperson of Georgia's working party, remarked on Georgia's speedy accession. She said that the rapid pace of this accession process testified to the determination shown by the Georgian authorities to carry through an impressive reform process sustained by a high degree of trade liberalisation and full conformity with WTO rules and disciplines. She pointed out that the fact that Georgia had been able to conclude accession negotiations so rapidly and efficiently proved that when supported by constructive dialogue, intensive preparatory work and good will, the WTO accession procedures had worked well.
Georgia is the fourth former Soviet republic to become a member government of the WTO, after the Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia and Estonia. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are in the process of negotiating their terms of entry to the WTO.
Overall, 30 governments are currently negotiating to join the WTO: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Croatia, 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 and Vietnam.
All documents concerning the accession of Georgia are available on the WTO website under "Documents on-line". As document symbol, type in: WT/ACC/GEO*.
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Merchandise Trade of Georgia(Million dollars and percentage)
|Exports (fob)||Imports (cif)|
|CIS and Baltic States||105||110||CIS and Baltic States||385||225|
|Rest of the World||85||130||Rest of the World||670||375|
|CIS and Baltic States||55.3||CIS and Baltic States||36.3|
|Armenia||7.5||European Union (15)||27.7|
|European Union (15)||9.0||United Kingdom||7.1|
|Major product groups:|
|Base metals and articles thereof||20.5||Food||18.7|
|Mineral Products||16.6||Machinery and mechanical appliances||16.4|
|Chemicals and Rubber||12.5||Transport facilities||10.2|
|Chemical and rubber||9.5|