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.
On 25 March 2015, President James Michel signed the "Instrument of Acceptance" of Seychelles' Accession Protocol, confirming its membership terms, at a plenary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles. In this document, Seychelles' government states that the Protocol of Accession was ratified by Seychelles' National Assembly on 24 March. After the signing, President James Michel handed the Instrument of Acceptance to the Director of the WTO Accessions Division, who received it on behalf of WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. According to WTO rules, the 30-day countdown to its WTO membership was activated on 27 March 2015 and Seychelles officially became a WTO member on 26 April 2015.
"I have just spoken with Jean Paul Adam, Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy of Seychelles, and congratulated the Government of Seychelles and particularly President James Michel on their leadership and commitment to WTO-consistent domestic reforms that have made Seychelles' accession possible," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. "I am delighted to welcome the Republic of Seychelles as the 161st member of the WTO. This is great news for Seychelles' economy and, therefore, for the people of Seychelles. It is also a boost for the WTO and a vote of confidence in the Organization, as we redouble our efforts to complete the Doha Round of negotiations. Ninety-eight per cent of the global economy now falls under the WTO's rules-based multilateral trading system."
"This is a major step forward in the trade integration of Seychelles into the rules-based multilateral trading system and the global economy," said Seychelles Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean Paul Adam. "Seychelles shall now have access to the markets of all 160 WTO members. WTO membership ensures that Seychelles will contribute to on-going multilateral negotiation processes to ensure that we can create more opportunities for wealth creation and prosperity while also defending the countries' approach to development".
His full speech is available here.
WTO members officially approved Seychelles' accession on 10 December 2014. The Protocol of Accession was signed by H.E. Mr Pierre Laporte, former Minister of Trade, Finance and Investment, and DG Azevêdo.
The list of Seychelles' commitments is available here.
>The Accession Commitments Database (ACDB) now includes the specific obligations that Seychelles undertook throughout its accession process. The database covers all accession commitments and related information provided in the Accession Working Party Reports and Accession Protocols of the members that have joined the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO.
> WTO DG Azevêdo’s welcoming remarks to Seychelles during the 10 December General Council.
> News item by State House of the Republic of Seychelles on the Signing of the Instrument of Acceptance of the Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of Seychelles on 25 March 2015.
> News item by State House of the Republic of Seychelles on the visit by Ms Hilda Al-Hinai (Oman), Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of the Republic of Seychelles, and the WTO Secretariat team (Mr Chiedu Osakwe, Director of the WTO Accessions Division; and Ms Petra Beslać, Accession Working Party Secretary) on 24 March 2015.
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