Fifteen years after the start of negotiations in 1997, Laos finally announced its full membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Saturday 02 February 2013, becoming the global trading body's 158th member.
The announcement was made at the Patouxay monument in Vientiane and was followed by a celebratory walk along Lane Xang Avenue, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, and representatives of various embassies to Laos.
Laos hopes that WTO membership will drive economic growth by enabling its economy to more closely integrate with the international community, while lifting its people out of poverty and attracting more investment inflows, Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Nam Vinhaket said. Dr Nam made the comments prior to cutting a ribbon to officially proclaim Laos' membership in the WTO.
During the 15 years of negotiations, Laos has enacted and amended over 90 laws and regulations that relate to trading, to meet the requirements of the global trade group.
Laos will experience changes after becoming a member of the WTO and in 2015 when the Asean Economic Community comes into effect. These adjustments have been taken into account in the government's international economic integration policy.
Greater integration will help Laos to attract more overseas investment and bring in more technology for use by local industry, to boost domestic and export sales. WTO membership will give Laos greater political and economic presence at the regional level and throughout the world. Laos will have more power in negotiations on trade and other issues as part of the Asean Community and through closer links with other least developed countries.
In the short term, Laos may not directly benefit from WTO membership but will profit in the long term.
(Source: Vientiane Times)
|< Prev||Next >|