WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO


17 July 1998

Way cleared for Kyrgyz Republic to become 133rd member of the WTO

WTO accession negotiations for the Kyrgyz Republic, concluded successfully today, paving the way for Kyrgyz to become the 133rd and the first Commonwealth of Independent States member to join the WTO.

At today's meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of the Kyrgyz Republic, Chairman Jean-Marie Metzger (France) concluded that the Working Party had completed its work on the package of accession documents (Draft Report, Draft Protocol of Accession, and Draft Market Access Schedules of Concessions on Goods and Services), with the understanding that the Accession of the Kyrgyz Republic would be on the agenda of the WTO's General Council for formal decision at its first meeting after the summer break.

WTO procedures require that the WTO General Council approve accession. The prospective new member must then ratify its membership in accordance with its national procedures. Membership takes effect 30 days after the new member has notified the WTO of its ratification.

The Kyrgyz Republic first applied for WTO membership in February 1996.  A Working Party was established in April 1996 and a first meeting was held in March 1997.  The process of accession has been greatly accelerated by the willingness  of the Kyrgyz Republic to bring its economic and trade regime into conformity with WTO rules and obligations as rapidly as possible, by putting in place the necessary implementing legislation prior to accession.

The following 32 governments have requested to join the WTO. Their applications are currently being considered by accession working parties: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Nepal, Oman, Sultanate of, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sudan, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam.