Timor-Leste Formally Joins World Trade Organisation Featured

By The INDEPENDENTE February 29, 2024 150
Foto:Google. Foto:Google.

Abu Dhabi: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) gave its final approval for Timor-Leste’s membership in the trade body, one of just two nations to join since 2016, according to a WTO statement.

The 165-nation global trade body approved by consensus Timor-Leste’s application for membership on Monday, giving a boost to Timor-Leste’s trade opportunities.

“…this historic achievement,” said DG Okonjo-Iweala, who is WTO’s Director-General. The decision was made during the first day of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi.

In her opening speech, Okonjo-Iweala paid tribute to the government of Timor-Leste and Comoros -  also approved for WTO membership -  for their “extensive” programme of domestic reforms to accelerate economic growth.

“We celebrate the hard work they have put in, and the beneficial but challenging reforms they have implemented at home,” she said.

Membership is expected to provide Timor-Leste with access to a forum of WTO members to negotiate trade agreements with.

In a speech, Timor-Leste’s President of the Republic Jose Ramos-Horta said:  “Being a WTO member is essential to unleash the potential of our economy in several sectors.”

“We are committed to diversify our economy, become a part of the value chain of the global economy and to improve the life of our people through trade.”

Timor-Leste applied to join the trade body in 2016 and for eight years led by a working party has worked to meet its strict membership criteria.

Twenty-two more countries are seeking to follow in Timor-Leste’s footsteps — many of them from the Arab world, according to the statement.

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Last modified on Thursday, 29 February 2024 17:07

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