Commerce and Industry minister Axel Addy
Liberia’s Accession To WTO ‘A Milestone,’ Says Addy
By Ballah M. Kollie, LINA
MONROVIA, July 3 (LINA) - Commerce and Industry minister Axel Addy has described Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as “a milestone’ for his administration and the country.
Liberia on June 14 met the deadline for becoming a member of the WTO when it ratified and submitted its confirmation for membership.
This achievement followed nearly eight years of continuous engagement with the world trade body for its inclusion as a member of the Multilateral Trade System.
With the ratification and submission, Liberia will on July 14 become the 163rd member of WTO as it has met the standard protocol for full membership.
Currently ongoing is the ratification of the country’s WTO accession package by a team of WTO staff visiting the country.
The July 14 date will mark 30 days after the ratification of Liberia’s accession package required for the granting of full membership.
According to Minister Addy, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Liberia Revenue Authority have already designed the country’s post-accession plan intended to support trade-related institutions.
He further disclosed that government has also held a donors’ roundtable aimed at supporting the post-accession plan as well as a high-level legislative engagement event to ensure a “buy-in” from them.
According to Minister Addy, Liberia’s post accession package includes trading in goods, services and IPD sectors.
He revealed that a major benefit of Liberia’s accession to the WTO will be its placement on par with the tariff regime of other West African countries rather than the divesting effects of low tariff over the years.
He, however, pointed out that the accession to the WTO will not directly give Liberia millions as suggested in some quarters, but will win the country millions as well as attract investors.