WTO: 2015 NEWS ITEMS

ACCESSIONS


NOTE:
THIS NEWS STORY is designed to help the public understand developments in the WTO. While every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, it does not prejudice member governments’ positions.

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Mr Reiter of Sweden reported that “considerable technical work” had been undertaken since the second Working Party meeting on 7 May, including finalization of all bilateral agreements with Canada, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Working Party members have advanced the examination of Liberia's trade regime to the “end-game stage” and have significantly narrowed down the outstanding issues regarding the draft Working Party report, the Chairman said.

Learn how WTO accession negotiations work here.

Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, reaffirmed Liberia's commitment to conclude its WTO accession negotiations by the Tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi, in a meeting with Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on the margins of the Third United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July.

 

Next steps

To ensure the conclusion of Liberia's accession negotiations by MC10, Chairman Reiter proposed that by 6 August:

  • Liberia submits its final Legislative Action Plan
  • Liberia and Working Party members provide the technical input to finalize the draft Working Party report.

The final meeting for Working Party members to adopt ad referendum the draft Accession Package is envisaged for the first half of October. If this is the case,the package would be presented to Ministers at MC10 on 15-18 December for formal adoption. Echoing President Johnson Sirleaf's objective, the Chairman of Liberia's Senate Committee for Commerce, Senator Jim Tornonlah, assured Working Party members that the Liberian legislature would then adopt the Accession Package in a timely manner.

The WTO Secretariat will continue to provide technical assistance to Liberia — as a least-developed country1 — to facilitate its accession process.

 

Background information

  • Application received on 13 June 2007
  • Working Party established on 18 December 2007
  • Working Party Chairperson: H.E. Mr Joakim Reiter (Sweden)
  • Working Party Secretary: Ms Juneyoung Lee
  • Working Party co-Secretary: Ms Anna Varyanik
  • Director of the Accessions Division: Mr Chiedu Osakwe

 

Notes:

WTO LDC members are the countries on the United Nations list of LDCs that are WTO members. back to text

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