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Timor Leste Begins Accession Process to WTO

The Southeast Asian country is beginning the process to become a member of the WTO, after first submitting its application in 2016

Published on October 5, 2020

Timor Leste Flag Photo: Isabel Nolasco. Image cropped.

Timor-Leste began its accession process to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week, as the Working Party set up to facilitate the process held its first meeting.

The meeting, on October 1st, took on a hybrid form, with the Timor-Leste delegation speaking from the Timorese capital, Dili, and the Working Party chair, Ambassador Rui Macieira of Portugal, speaking from WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Discussing the meeting, the Chief Negotiatior for Timor-Leste, Joaquim Amaral, said "Timor-Leste prioritizes WTO membership, as it would help to leverage the on-going improvements in its infrastructure, human capital and administrative capacity, and to accelerate growth and economic diversification. It would also set a stepping-stone for Timor-Leste's accession to ASEAN. Timor-Leste is fully committed to abide by the principles, objectives and rules of the WTO, as a least-developed country, and to implement structural, legislative and policy reforms needed to comply with its future WTO commitments".

Ambassador Macieira, as Working Party chair, went on to say that "Being part of the global rules-based trading system has become more urgent and more important than ever, especially for a least developed country such as Timor-Leste. I am confident that today's meeting will mark a critical first step in the negotiation journey of Timor-Leste's integration into the global economy".

The full news on Timor-Leste's accession can be found at www.wto.org/english/news_e/news20_e/acc_01oct20_e.htm

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