Seychelles moves closer to WTO accession


The fourth working party for its WTO accession and the plurilateral meeting on agriculture took place on June 21, 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Addressing the working party members, Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte reaffirmed Seychelles' commitment to joining the WTO, noting that it would provide a more conducive environment to ease trade.

He urged members to show more understanding and flexibility to the particular needs of Seychelles as a small open island economy, adding that inclusion of small island states would enhance the credibility of the organisation.

This appeal was echoed by 16 other members who took the floor in support of Seychelles’ accession to the WTO.

Agreements were signed with Switzerland in March and with South Africa during Seychelles' fourth working party meeting.

Two revised agreements were also signed with Mauritius and Oman to take into account recent changes in the bound tariff offers.

Seychelles delegation head, Minister Laporte, signed the agreement with Mauritius while Vivianne Fock-Tave, Seychelles' ambassador to the European Union, signed the one with Oman and South Africa.

The agreement with Switzerland was signed by Cillia Mangroo, director general for trade in the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment, in March, during bilateral negotiations which were held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Seychelles has finalised negotiations with Thailand and signing is expected shortly.

The Seychelles delegation made significant progress in negotiations with the European Union, with which an agreement is now near conclusion, while negotiations with the United States of America are ongoing.

In addition to Minister Laporte and Ambassador Fock-Tave, the Seychelles delegation comprised Michael Nalletamby, principal secretary for Natural Resources and Industry; Charles Morin, Seychelles’ chief negotiator for WTO; Cillia Mangroo, other senior staff from the trade division, Seychelles Bureau of Standards, and the Seychelles embassy in Brussels.

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