Parliament ratifies Protocol of Accession of Timor-Leste to WTO

Parliament ratifies Protocol of Accession of Timor-Leste to WTO

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DILI, 04 june 2024 (TATOLI) – The National Parliament approved the Protocol of Accession of Timor-Leste to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Protocol of Accession was approved with 37 votes in favor, 18 abstentions, and 3 votes against.

“By becoming a member of this organization, Timor-Leste strengthens its position on the international stage, guaranteeing access to a fair and transparent international trade system. Given that formalizing membership is fundamental to consolidating Timor-Leste’s commitment to the principles of free trade, non-discrimination, and predictability in international trade relations. Joining the WTO will promote an environment conducive to foreign investment, boosting economic growth and job creation,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister for Tourism and the Environment, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, following the approval of the Accession Protocol.

Minister Lay stressed that the country’s integration into the organization is not limited to economic aspects, but also represents ‘a commitment to democratic values, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

“Active participation in the WTO will provide Timor-Leste with a platform to defend its legitimate interests and promote trade policies in line with its sustainable development goal. This ratification is a requirement that Timor-Leste must fulfill to formalize the commitments made as a WTO member, which will be implemented in the post-accession phases,” he said.

On 26 february, Timor-Leste officially became a full member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the WTO’s 13th ministerial meeting, in Abu Dhabi.

The Protocol of the Accession of the Timor-Leste to WTO was signed at the end of the ceremony by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister Coordinator for Economic Affairs and Minister of Tourism and Environment, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Timor-Leste submitted its application for accession to the WTO in november 2016 as part of a broader national trade strategy to integrate the country further into the world economy to promote economic growth and development.

Timor-Leste’s WTO accession process started on december 7, 2006, through the establishment of the Working Group.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins 


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