On the 18th May 2012, the Lao delegation led by Mrs. Khemmani Pholsena, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) managed to strike deals on its accession to the WTO with Ukraine which took place in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
Ukraine is the last out of the total of 9 negotiating partners, who had requested for market access concessions on goods and services from Laos. Such accomplishment is considered a significant milestone for Laos who sets to join the organization the end of this year. Basically, both Laos and Ukraine still need to work on completing their internal procedures towards the official signing, which is foreseen to be held on the sideline of the 9th Working party meeting this July. Laos’ application for a WTO membership started in 1997 and it has so far completed market access negotiations with nine members, notably including the US (March 2012) and EU (December 2011). The WTO is now having 155 members, with Montenegro and Samoa as the latest membership. Of the four countries whose their membership deals approved by WTO members during the Eighth Ministerial Conference, Russia and Vanuatu are also at the last stage of ratifying their packages, Moreover, WTO members also expect Yemen to complete its accession together with Laos by the end 2012.
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