The European Union (EU) and Liberia have signed a deal concluding their bilateral negotiations on Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is expected to make lasting contribution to the process of economic and sustainable development in Liberia.
“Today's signature is a milestone in Liberia's WTO accession process and an important step towards fostering our economic relations,” said Angelos Pangratis, EU Ambassador to the WTO.
“Against the background of the devastating public health challenge of Ebola Liberia has made remarkable progress in preparing for WTO entry and we are looking forward to rewarding Liberia's efforts and welcoming the country into the WTO family very soon,” Pangratis noted.
According to a release from the EU office in Monrovia, the bilateral deal was signed by EU Ambassador to the WTO Pangratis and Liberia's Minister for Commerce and Industry, Axel M. Addy.
It defines the level of market access that Liberia will grant to EU goods and services in the WTO, the release said.
These commitments will then be embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of Liberia to the WTO.
Liberia applied for WTO membership in mid-2007. The accession talks started half a year later with the establishment of a dedicated Working Party made of interested WTO members.
In order to join the WTO, Liberia must complete bilateral negotiations with each of them and obtain the endorsement of the entire Working Party, noted the release.