07.17.12

Seychelles’ Commitment to access WTO membership welcomed

Posted in Bilateral Treaties, Business and Economy, Diplomatic missions, International Organisations, International relations at 8:48 am by Robert Klien

The Seychelles has been praised for undertaking reforms of its legislative and trade regime aimed to achieve membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On July 10, 2012, WTO member states at the 3rd Working Party on the Seychelles’ accession reviewed the state of play in the bilateral market access negotiations and examined legislative developments and its trade regime.

According to the Chief Negotiator for the Seychelles, Charles Morin, significant progress has been made to meet accession requirements. In April and May 2012, revised goods and services offers were presented. Despite the limited human and financial resources, the Seychelles has made remarkable progress. Also, he noted that the jurisdiction has recently established a mission in Geneva. It was emphasized that the Seychelles has a unique position as one of the smallest economies in the world and its economy is prone to external shocks.

Representatives from the EU, the US, China, Canada, Australia, Lesotho (on behalf of the African Group), Oman, Brazil, Mauritius (on behalf of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group), India, South Africa, and Barbados expressed their appreciation for the substantive work that Seychelles has undertaken to advance its accession. Some members voiced their support for allowing for more flexibility in the accession of such a small and vulnerable economy as the Seychelles.

The Chairperson of the Working Party, Hilda Ali Al-Hinai (from Oman), said that the examination of all aspects of the Seychelles’ economic and trade regime has been advanced at the meeting. She congratulated the Seychelles for successfully establishing a mission in Geneva as well as praised it for the quantity and quality of the documents it has submitted.

The Seychelles began its accession bid in 1995. It has already signed three bilateral market access agreements with Oman, Mauritius and Canada. In addition, the EU, South Africa, Thailand, and the US have registered progress in the bilateral negotiations with the Seychelles.

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