28 Oct 2011

Vanuatu becomes WTO Member

11:11 am on 28 October 2011

The General Council of the World Trade Organisation has approved Vanuatu's WTO membership bid.

Vanuatu must ratify the deal by December the 31st, before becoming the WTO's 154th member thirty days after ratification.

The WTO's Director-General, Pascal Lamy, says Vanuatu's membership will strengthen its multilateral trading system and provide it with a stable and predictable trade environment.

He says Vanuatu's accession brings the WTO one step closer to its goal of universal membership.

Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Ham Lini, welcomed the announcement, saying this is a happy moment of historical significance for his country.

He also added this accession will bring substantial gains to the country.

Tax News.com says Vanuatu applied for WTO membership in 1995, and the Working Party concluded the negotiations on May 2, 2011.