Laos joins World Trade Organisation

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After decades behind the bamboo curtain, Laos is now the 158th member of the World Trade Organisation, pending ratification by its own parliament

After years of negotiations and reforms, Laos received a confirmation on Friday, October 26, that  it is now part of the World Trade Organisation, or WTO.

The approval is ending a 15-year effort by the small Southeast Asian communist nation to join the global trade body. After approval by the General Council, which represents the body’s 157 members, WTO chief Pascal Lamy signed an accession protocol with Laos’ chief negotiator, Industry and Commerce Minister Nam Viyaketh.

Laos’ parliament expects a formal ratification by December 2012 or early 2013.

It is hoped that membership for Laos, one of Southeast Asia’s least developed nations, will accelerate development, entice greater international investment and boost economic growth.

For goods, Laos has committed to maximum tariffs averaging 18.8 per cent on all products, 19.3 per cent for agricultural products and 18.7 per cent for the rest. In the services sector, Laos has made market access commitments in 10 sectors and 79 sub-sectors. These commitments will bring Laos’ markets in line with WTO international standards and create greater transparency.

The next big step for Laos on its way to become a new powerhouse of ASEAN will be to join the ASEAN Economic Community from 2015.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

After decades behind the bamboo curtain, Laos is now the 158th member of the World Trade Organisation, pending ratification by its own parliament

After years of negotiations and reforms, Laos received a confirmation on Friday, October 26, that  it is now part of the World Trade Organisation, or WTO.

Reading Time: 1 minute

After decades behind the bamboo curtain, Laos is now the 158th member of the World Trade Organisation, pending ratification by its own parliament

After years of negotiations and reforms, Laos received a confirmation on Friday, October 26, that  it is now part of the World Trade Organisation, or WTO.

The approval is ending a 15-year effort by the small Southeast Asian communist nation to join the global trade body. After approval by the General Council, which represents the body’s 157 members, WTO chief Pascal Lamy signed an accession protocol with Laos’ chief negotiator, Industry and Commerce Minister Nam Viyaketh.

Laos’ parliament expects a formal ratification by December 2012 or early 2013.

It is hoped that membership for Laos, one of Southeast Asia’s least developed nations, will accelerate development, entice greater international investment and boost economic growth.

For goods, Laos has committed to maximum tariffs averaging 18.8 per cent on all products, 19.3 per cent for agricultural products and 18.7 per cent for the rest. In the services sector, Laos has made market access commitments in 10 sectors and 79 sub-sectors. These commitments will bring Laos’ markets in line with WTO international standards and create greater transparency.

The next big step for Laos on its way to become a new powerhouse of ASEAN will be to join the ASEAN Economic Community from 2015.

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