6 May 2011

Vanuatu's plans to join WTO face strong opposition

1:29 pm on 6 May 2011

There's significant opposition in Vanuatu for plans to join the World Trade Organisation, including from members of parliament.

Vanuatu is on the verge of becoming a member of the WTO and it will be expected to reduce trade barriers, such as like tariffs.

MP and president of the Green Party, Moana Kalosil Carcasses, says he's been asking how joining the WTO will benefit Vanuatu, and still hasn't had an answer.

The former Minister of Finance says the loss of protection of local industry can only be a bad thing.

"Vanuatu as a young nation is trying to create its own economy we want ni-Vanuatu to go into businesses here, made in Vanuatu. In order to do that other countries have protected their industry. If we join now I can't see that happening."

Moana Carcasses says many MPs and non-governmental organisations are against joining the WTO and says parliament still has to ratify the agreement.