WTO: TL’s effort to WTO is an unambiguous signal to pursue significant economic reforms

WTO: TL’s effort to WTO is an unambiguous signal to pursue significant economic reforms

(WTO/Photo Google)

DILI, 13 may 2022 (TATOLI)– Timor-Leste accession to the WTO is an unambiguous signal intended to pursue and implement significant and meaningful economic reforms.

The statement was highlighted by the WTO members and multiracial partners who exchanged their experiences on their ongoing support to Timor-Leste’s accession to WTO during The round table meeting.

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At the meeting the WTO members unanimously appreciative of the efforts made by Timor-Leste and reiterated their commitment to work with Timor-Leste to help bring their trading regime in line with WTO rules and facilitate their participation in the multilateral trading system.

WTO Deputy-Director General Xiangchen Zhang noted that Timor-Leste is one of the fast-advancing accessions rapidly moving towards maturity.

“It is indeed heartening to see that during the pandemic, it has been least-developed countries — Timor-Leste and Comoros, especially — which have been most active of all ongoing accessions, demonstrating the seriousness and dedication to the WTO. This is an important and encouraging signal, especially in the lead-up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) which is now scheduled for 12 to 15 June,” said DDG Zhang.

At the same time, the Ambassador Rui Macieira of Portugal, Chair of the Working Party, reminded members that Timor-Leste is an LDC and drew their attention to the 2002 LDC Accession Guidelines, together with its addendum adopted by the General Council in 2012, calling on members to facilitate and accelerate the negotiations of LDC accessions.

Ambassador Macieira stressed “the importance of the timely and coordinated provision of technical assistance to Timor-Leste as an LDC” and thanked members and development partners for the various support provided to Dili so far. “Such support should be sustained throughout the accession process, and also post-accession, to help Timor-Leste realize the full benefits of WTO membership,” he said.

The chair invited Timor-Leste to circulate its revised market access offers on goods and services, to respond to members’ questions together with its revised Agriculture Supporting Tables and the SPS Checklist, and to continue updating its Legislative Action Plan and submitting translations of draft and adopted WTO-related legislation.

He urged Timor-Leste to expedite its work on the adoption of the remaining draft legislation to make sure that all legislation scheduled for enactment before WTO accession is adopted on time.

On the multilateral front, he asked the Secretariat to prepare a Draft Report of the Working Party based on the discussions of the 3rd Working Party and inputs to be received after this meeting, including any additional proposed draft commitments.

The timing of the next meeting will depend on the availability of the required inputs from Dili. Ambassador Macieira suggested another meeting in autumn 2022, given Timor-Leste’s desire to advance the accession process towards its conclusion as swiftly as possible.

The Working Party meeting was followed by a Round Table on Technical Assistance for Timor-Leste, moderated by WTO Deputy-Director General Xiangchen Zhang, which aimed to update members and development partners on Timor-Leste’s accession-related needs in technical assistance and capacity building and to coordinate available donor support on time.


Journalist:Camilo de Sousa

Editor: Nelia Borges


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