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WTO agrees membership terms for Liberia, paving way for formal decision in Nairobi


WTO agrees membership terms for Liberia, paving way for formal decision in Nairobi

WTO agrees membership terms for Liberia, paving way for formal decision in Nairobi
Photo credit: WTO

WTO members negotiating Liberia’s accession agreed by consensus, ad referendum, on the terms of the country’s WTO membership on 6 October 2015, paving the way for the eighth least-developed country to join the organization since 1995. Liberia’s membership terms will be presented to the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, 15-18 December, for a formal decision by ministers.

Out of the original 48 least-developed countries (LDCs) on the United Nations list, 34 are WTO members, of which seven have negotiated their membership terms since 1995. Seven more LDCs are negotiating to join the WTO. They are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Sao Tomé & Principe, and Sudan.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said:

“I warmly welcome this news which promises to bring a timely boost to Liberia’s economic development. I congratulate the Government of Liberia on this achievement and praise the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. I very much look forward to finalising Liberia’s membership at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi this December. Helping least-developed countries to trade is a vital part of the WTO’s work and is a priority for me as Director-General.”

Speaking at the Working Party meeting on 6 October, H.E. Mr Axel Addy, Minister for Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Liberia, said:

“We believe in the multilateral trading system and the power of trade to contribute to poverty reduction in our country. My dream is that the work we have done here will pave the way for a better Liberia for all of us and our children so they too can exercise their potential.”

Working Party Chairperson H.E. Joakim Reiter said:

“Liberia’s WTO accession is a strong, positive and clear signal of its commitment to engaging with the global economy in the framework of the rules-based trading system. The conclusion of this least-developed country accession is a critical win-win for LDCs, Africa and the WTO.”

Liberia’s Accession Package will now be put to the Nairobi Ministerial Conference on 15-18 December for formal adoption.

Find out more about Liberia’s WTO accession negotiations.


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