11 November 2005

Statement by H.E. Dr. Hashim A. Yamani Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Special Session of the WTO General Council

Madame Chairman

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. My delegation and I are grateful to you, and to Members of the General Council for adopting the Protocol of Accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the World Trade Organization. Thus, the door has been opened for one of the largest free-market economies to become a member of the WTO, bringing it further to becoming a universal organization.

The Kingdom recognizes that the WTO embodies the noble principles of the multilateral trading system which has contributed significantly to economic development. We appreciate the role of WTO as an organization dedicated to expansion and liberalization of world trade and to elimination of discrimination in international trade relations. We share the view that trade liberalization and strengthened rules would lead to a progressively more open world trading environment.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been familiar with the multilateral trading system. It has for a long time been following autonomously the principles and rules of this system in the formulation and conduct of its trade policies. On this occasion we reaffirm our commitment to the rule-based system implemented by the WTO.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia looks forward to occupying its seat as a member of the WTO. We look forward to working with other Members to strengthen and reinforce the WTO. We also look forward to working with developing countries to ensure that they secure an increasing share in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. We will work alongside other countries, especially developing countries, to strive for a more fair and equitable multilateral trading system. The Kingdom will join hands with other WTO Members for the early successful conclusion of multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda. We will be participating as a Member in the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong and would collaborate with others for the success of the Ministerial Conference.

Before I conclude, let me once again thank you and Members of the General Council for holding the Special Session to adopt the Protocol of the Kingdom's Accession. May I also offer my Government's special thanks to the Chairman and all Members of the Working Party on the accession of the Kingdom to the WTO.