WTO: 2010 NEWS ITEMS

ACCESSIONS

  

The Chair of the Working Party, Ambassador Peter Black (Jamaica) praised The Bahamas' political commitment at the highest levels of government for WTO membership.

Members supported the accession of The Bahamas and its integration into the rules-based multilateral trading system.

They also acknowledged the hard work undertaken by The Bahamas to implement sound macro economic and trade policies. Members highlighted areas in need of further work: pricing policy, tariffs, internal taxes, quantitative restrictions, import licensing, customs, export subsidies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and intellectual property.

“We are now entering the active phase of the accession process” stated Mr. Zhivargo Laing, Minister of State for Finance. He further declared that The Bahamas had already done considerable work and has begun reforming laws governing foreign and internal trade, bringing practices into conformity with the WTO rules. He added that The Bahamas was seriously affected by the global recession and that the unemployment rate had reached about 15%. He stressed that commitments taken by The Bahamas as WTO member would have to be balanced with a firm recognition that it must accede to the WTO on terms that safeguard its growth and promotes its development as a small and vulnerable economy.
  

Bilateral negotiations

The Bahamas will start with the tabling of initial offers on goods and services.
  

Next steps

The next meeting could be held by mid-2011 but no firm dates has been decided.
  

Background information

  • Application Received on 10 May 2001

  • Working Party established on 18 July 2001

  • Memorandum describing current trade regime circulated on 17 April 2009

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