- Cape Verde, one of the world's poorest states has become 153rd member of World Trade Organisation (WTO) today.
Cape Verde which began accession negotiation in 1999, and has been delayed due to tough demands by world body, ratified its accession package on 23 June which was the final step in the process before it could officially join WTO.
In December last year, WTO General Council cleared path for Cape Verde's membership by approving a package of agreements spelling out terms of accession.
“I am very pleased to welcome Cape Verde as a new member. This new membership will strengthen multilateral trading system. Being part of the WTO will enable Cape Verde to continue its integration into the world economy,” said Director-General Mr Pascal Lamy.
Cape Verde has since 2004 been optimistic about its accession into WTO following negotiations held in Geneva in December, boasting of easy access in 2005, but it failed to meet tough demands by world body.
In 2005, WTO chief negotiator, Mr David Shark praised country’s efforts to accelerate its accession process which its delay was said to do with industrial and intellectual property rights, and the country had to introduce new legislation and reforms as demanded by WTO.
Almost two years after a praise, the situation has not changed very much, as the list of WTO demands for new potential members grew larger and larger, making Cape Verde accession a mammoth task.
The Cape Verdean government regretted that it was not among WTO founding members in 1995, the body which has 152 member states, but its accession has brought smiles on government and nation as a move to widen its economy.
With a population of 400,000, Cape Verde, an archipelago in the North Atlantic, specialises in production of salt and bananas and in fishing. The country, which became independent from Portugal in 1975, has become the 33rd of the world's 50 least developed countries to join the WTO, AFP reported.
Since 1991, the country has pursued market-oriented economic policies, facilitating foreign investment, fostering private sector development through privatisation, developing tourism, light manufacturing industries and fisheries. Cape Verde has also developed its transport, communications and energy facilities.
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