14 Nov 2011

WTO membership have no negative effects on Samoa - negotiator

2:43 pm on 14 November 2011

With Samoa on the cusp of joining the World Trade Organisation, a member of the delegation involved in the final negotiations says membership of the trade body will not detrimentally affect the country.

Papali'i Grant Percival says the economic reforms required for WTO membership, such as the removal of protective tariffs, were carried out by Samoa in 1998.

The WTO's 8th Ministerial Conference in a month's time is scheduled to accept Samoa as a member.

Papali'i says Samoa has already done what WTO would've required of it.

Of concern to farmers is a WTO insistence that their exemption to the country's value added goods and services tax end.

But Papali'i says there is an income threshold for this tax so ending the exemption would only apply to a dozen or so big farmers in Samoa.