Lao PDR’s accession to the WTO gets closer

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Send to friend: 

VIENTIANE,06.2.2012 (KPL) - The EU and Lao PDR celebrated the conclusion and signature of bilateral negotiations in the context of Lao PDR accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Vientiane, last Friday.
The signature of the formal bilateral agreement took place in Geneva on 16 December 2011, during the WTO Ministerial Conference, according to press release of EU in Vientiane on last Friday.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Nam Viyaketh, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and Ambassador David Lipman, Head of the EU Delegation to Lao PDR. High-level officials and diplomats, and representatives of the business sector from the EU and Lao PDR were also present to celebrate the conclusion and official signature of the Bilateral Protocol.
The Bilateral Protocol signed in Geneva is enclosed with the complete list of commitments agreed by Lao PDR regarding import-export tariffs for goods and market access conditions for services. The conclusion of the bilateral agreement with the EU is a significant leap towards the accession of Lao PDR to WTO.
This is an important milestone for the EU-Lao bilateral relations, as Lao PDR is very close to becoming a new Member of WTO. The EU’s cooperation and support has been instrumental throughout Lao PDR’s accession process. The EU has carefully taken into account the special needs of Lao PDR, as a least-developed country. Thus the market access requests have consequently been tailored accordingly, with the view to ensuring that Lao PDR benefits from open markets and new export destinations. In parallel, the EU also provides significant trade related assistance to Lao PDR in order to support the strengthening of Lao PDR’s capacity to integrate in the global economy and adapt to the rules-based multilateral trading system.
The achievement of this milestone has demonstrated the Lao government’s determination and commendable efforts in undertaking necessary reforms throughout the accession process to WTO. This political commitment by the Government of Lao PDR will contribute to a more transparent and predictable business environment to enhance trade and investment, develop its economy, and raise living standards.
The EU continues to encourage the Government to complete the outstanding work ahead, which could make WTO Membership a reality in the very near future. The EU reaffirms its strong support to Lao PDR in this process.