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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Comoros Takes First Step Towards WTO Membership

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Comoros, under the leadership of President Azali Assoumani, has taken its first step towards ratifying its imminent membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). This announcement was made during a meeting with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on 12 June.

The country’s WTO membership was approved at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi in February. Both leaders discussed the next steps for Comoros’ entry into the WTO.

President Assoumani and DG Okonjo-Iweala agreed that capacity building support from the WTO and development partners, such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the UN Trade and Development agency (UNCTAD), is crucial to ensure a successful post-accession strategy.

They highlighted the upcoming WTO Global Review of Aid for Trade on 26-28 June as a good opportunity to engage with these and other institutional partners in preparing Comoros for WTO membership.

Both leaders reiterated the important role that trade and the WTO play in developing and expanding the economic base and export potential of Comoros, particularly in sectors such as tourism, finance, and digitalisation. Regional cooperation and integration, including through the African Continental Free Trade Area, was highlighted as another key element for further economic diversification.

The Comoros Accession Working Party was established on 9 October 2007. Members of the Working Party concluded the negotiations on 9 January 2024, and the accession was approved on 26 February 2024 during MC13.

“The journey towards WTO membership is a testament to our commitment to strengthening our economy and enhancing our trade potential. We look forward to the opportunities that WTO membership will bring to our nation,” said President Assoumani.

“We are committed to supporting Comoros in their post-accession strategy and believe that their membership will contribute positively to the global trading system,” added DG Okonjo-Iweala.

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