ITC welcomes Russia and Vanuatu as WTO members
The Russian Federation on 22 August became the 156th member of the World Trade Organization, putting an end to the accession process that started in June 1993. With Russia as a member of the trade arbiter, WTO will represent 98% of global trade.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in July signed a federal law that ratified Russia’s accession package to the WTO, which was the last hurdle after the country was granted access to the organization on 11 December 2011.
Russia has committed to fully apply all WTO provisions from the date of accession, with recourse to very few transitional periods. On average, Russia will apply a final bound tariff for 7.8% for goods and has made specific commitments on 11 services sectors and 116 sub-sectors.
ITC’s Executive Director Patricia Francis said: ‘The Russian Federation joining the now 157-strong WTO is huge and positive step forward — not only for the Russian Federation, but for global trade as a whole.’
‘ITC is very much looking forward to continue and expand on the constructive cooperation that has been established with the Russian Federation during the course of the country’s accession process.’
‘However, the private-sector development organisations have work cut out for them, of raising the awareness of WTO benefits, building capacity to enable businesses to seize new opportunities and seamlessly cope with the challenges. ITC will be pleased to support the Russian business development organisations in this endeavour.’
During accession process ITC has worked to support the country’s bid to join the WTO. More recently ITC has hosted a series of workshops in the Chuvash Republic create awareness and prepare businesses for WTO membership.
Read more about ITC’s work in the Chuvash Republic.
On 24 August Vanuatu become the 157th member of the WTO. Vanuatu is committed, from the date of accession, to fully apply all WTO provisions and did not require recourse to any transitional period except on intellectual property and on the publication of trade information.
Vanuatu will apply an average final bound rate of 39.7% and has made specific commitments on 10 services sectors. The services sector has been growing and now accounts for three-quarters of Vanuatu’s GDP.