Liberia joins WTO as 35th member of Least Developed Countries

Liberia joins WTO as 35th member of Least Developed Countries

Liberia is now a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), making it the 35th complete accession process and the 35th Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the organization.

The accession process on Liberia took 8 years minus two days.

According to Working Party Chairperson H.E. Joakim Reiter, the accession package for Liberia is high quality.

“Liberia’s WTO accession is a strong, positive and clear signal of its commitment to engaging with the global economy in the framework of the rules-based trading system. The conclusion of this least-developed country accession is a critical win-win for LDCs, Africa and the WTO,” said Reiter.

According to Reiter, intense negotiations for Liberia’s accession happened in the last one-year.

“The accession package will continue to strengthen the rules of Trade,” said Reiter.

Liberia’s President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson stated Liberia’s accession into WTO marks another turning point in our history as we continue economic transformation and economic growth.

“The road to accession has come with milestones to economic growth,” said Sirleaf. “Liberia created the fiscal space by removing our debt of 4.9 billion dollars, domestic revenues increased by 600% in peak, infrastructure is being mobilised, electricity increased from zero to 150MW by end of 2017, reaching 54 thousand households.”

“This is not enough to meet the needs of our people,” noted Sirleaf. “We joined the West Africa Power Pool and signed a new law and are expanding road networks to improve market access. We are pursuing investment opportunities and modernising port infrastructure.”

Members of the WTO congratulated Liberia on its accession, noting that the country would benefit economically.

“The decision we have taken on Liberia is a sign of the world’s confidence on WTO,” said CS Amina Mohammed.

“Liberia has announced to the world that she is open for business,” said WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo.

“This now puts power in Liberia’s hands to raise trade and give jobs. This is a proud day for WTO.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Liberia’s President Ellen Sirleaf on the accession, saying this would assist in achieving faster development and improve livelihood for her people.

Liberia completed its accession negotiations and the Working Party adopted the accession package ad referendum at the 4th and final meeting of the Working Party on October 6th, 2015.  The Working Party concluded its mandate and agreed to transmit the Package to the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi for formal action.

latest stories