“I am very pleased to welcome Cape Verde as a new member. This new membership will strengthen the multilateral trading system. Being part of the WTO will enable Cape Verde to continue its integration into the world economy,” said Director-General Pascal Lamy.

The terms of membership, which include the Working Party Report for Cape Verde's Accession, the Protocol of Accession, and the Schedules of Cape Verde's commitments on Market Access for Goods and Services, were adopted by the WTO at the General Council in December 2007.

Cape Verde ratified its accession package on 23 June 2008 which was the final step in the accession process before it could officially join the WTO. Under WTO rules, a country becomes a member 30 days after national ratification.

Cape Verde is an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. It was a Portuguese colony until its independence in 1975.

Since 1991, the country has pursued market-oriented economic policies, facilitating foreign investment, fostering the private sector through privatisations, developing tourism, light manufacturing industries and fisheries. Cape Verde has also developed its transport, communications and energy facilities.

Its main trading partners are Portugal, Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Italy, the US and France. The biggest importer to Cape Verde is Portugal (EUR 116.79 million in 2007). Cape Verde's exports to Portugal were worth EUR 4.41 million in 2007.

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