Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99
At the signing ceremony Mr. Moore said :
Lithuania's forthcoming accession is good news for
the country and good news for the WTO. Lithuania now has
a stable and predictable framework for economic
engagement with other nations which will boost trade,
growth and prosperity. For the WTO it means another big
step in our goal of becoming a truly world
Moore highlighted that Lithuania completes the list of
the three Baltic States to become members of the WTO.
Latvia and Estonia became members in 1999. Another two
former Soviet Union republics, Georgia and the Kyrgyz
Republic, are also members of the WTO. Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakstan, Moldova, Ukraine,
Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation are in the process
of negotiation for accession.
Moore welcomed the conclusion of Lithuania's
negotiations, which started in February 1994, and looked
forward to the country becoming a full Member of the
Organization after the ratification of the terms of
accession by its Parliament. He praised Lithuania's rapid
move from a centrally planned system to a market economy
after independence on 11 March 1990.
main trading partner is Germany which accounts for 16
percent of its exports and 18 percent of its imports,
followed by the Russian Federation which accounts for
19.4 percent and 7 percent, respectively. In 1999
Lithuania's exports totalled 3.004 billion US dollars and
its imports 4.835 billion US dollars.
28 governments are currently negotiating to join the WTO:
Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cape Verde, People's
Republic of China, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Kazakstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon,
Moldova, Nepal, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia,
Seychelles, Sudan, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Ukraine,
Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen.
membership stands now at 140 after the accession of
Croatia on 30 November 2000.