WTO: 2007 PRESS RELEASES

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The terms of membership, which include the Report of the Working Party for the Accession of Tonga, the Protocol of Accession, and the Schedules of Tonga’s commitments on Market Access for Goods and Services, were adopted by the WTO at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December 2005.

Tonga ratified its accession package on 27 June 2007 which was the final step in the accession process before Tonga could officially join the WTO. Under WTO rules, a country becomes a member 30 days after national ratification.

“I am very pleased to welcome Tonga as a new member. It is important for the WTO to continue facilitating fuller integration into the world economy of small developing countries such as Tonga” said Director General Pascal Lamy.

Tonga is one of the world's smallest economies with a population of approximately 116,000 and an area of 748 sq km. Trade accounts for 54% of GDP. Its annual growth reached 1.9% in 2006 and its major Industries are agriculture (41% of GDP) and fisheries (20% of exports). Tonga's main trading partners are Japan, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

> Report of the Working Party WT/ACC/TON/17
> Schedule of Concessions and Commitments on Goods WT/ACC/TON/17/Add.1
> Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services, List of Article II MFN Exemptions WT/ACC/TON/17/Add.2

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