Seychelles Accession into WTO

Posted in International Organisations at 4:41 pm by Robert Klien

On October 25, 2006, Seychelles made an important step towards the accession to the United Nations body when the Ministry of Finance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) renewed efforts regarding this.

A 3-day workshop opened at the Seychelles Marketing Board’s conference hall by the Minister for Finance, Danny Faure, has been organised by the ministry and the WTO. The conference was facilitated by Sajal Mathur from the WTO secretariat and attended by representatives of all government ministries, by non-governmental organizations as well as by the private sector.

Mr. Faure emphasized the significance of this workshop at a moment when the newly-elected government of President James Michel is aimimg at modernising the Seychelles economy and repositioning itself in a modern competitive global world economy. Working relationship of Seychelles with the WTO started a decade ago, and Seychelles has been working to comply with the many requirements of World Trade Organization. The WTO secretariat has always been supportive providing Seychelles with technical assistance including workshops, seminars and training.

The Minister said while trade is one of the driving forces of globalisation and economic integration, Seychelles is not an exception. Just recently, as part of the reorganisation of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry created a new division of trade which is expeted to provide better negotiation, coordination and integration of trade issues for Seychelles.

Officials from the ministry said that the workshop is significant for Seychelles’ attempt to develop a roadmap for its accession process and to focus on various topical issues such as trading rights, general economic policies and legal framework.

Seychelles has been an observer of the WTO since 1995, the year of the establishment of a working party on WTO accession. By 1996, a memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime was circulated, and in 1997 Seychelles made initial offers on goods and services. As far as Seychelles encountered human resource constraints, it has not become a full WTO member, however, it does hold observer status. Since then, Seychelles with the help of the WTO and other trading blocks has developed a human and technical base for negotiating its accession process. The Seychelles representatives say that now the country is in a position to assess the current situation and begin an evaluation of further changes necessary to be made to be in line with international best practice, whether the country does join the organization or it does not.

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