> 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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Today is both a historic day for the WTO and a historic day for the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia. It gives me great pleasure indeed this morning to welcome
Saudi Arabia to the WTO. Upon its signature of its Protocol of Accession in
a few hours' time, Saudi Arabia will be on its way to becoming the 149th
Member of this institution. In fact, we all hope to welcome Saudi Arabia as
a Member at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference this December.
There is no doubt that the accession of Saudi Arabia strengthens the WTO.
The WTO truly becomes a, quote-unquote, “World Trade Organization.” After
all, Saudi Arabia's importance on the international stage cannot be
underestimated. It is the world's 13th largest merchandise exporter and the
23rd largest importer. It is also an important services trader. Today it
joins us at the multilateral table.
Saudi Arabia's accession process started over a decade ago. In that process,
it undertook important economic reforms, which it is fair to say have
touched virtually all sectors of its economy. I have no doubt that these
reforms strengthen Saudi Arabia.
While Arabic is not an official language of this institution, I hope that
Members will allow me on this occasion to use one Arabic word. MABROUK. In