Thirteen years after Vanuatu applied to join the World Trade Organisation, or WTO, it has now decided to resume discussions to accede to the world multilateral trading body.
The PAC NEWS agency reports Vanuatu’s ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, as saying that the country’s cabinet has ’formally agreed to kick-start its accession process.’

Mr Joy says Vanuatu’s Trade Minister, James Bule is expected to be in Geneva next week to begin high level informal consultations with the WTO.
During the informal talks, the trade minister and his high level delegation will meet with WTO director general, Pascal Lamy and expected to request his assistance in the accession process.

Vanuatu began its WTO accession process in 1995.
But in 2001, just before the Doha Ministerial Conference, when Vanuatu was due.

to accede, the minister of trade then withdrew a finalised agreement, citing ’technical reasons’.
Mr Joy says the main reason for the suspension of accession was because they felt at that time that they were forced to make huge sacrifices and commitments in a number of sectoral areas.

September 11, 2011