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    Comoros WTO accession bid launched

    The Indian Ocean nation of Comoros has just joined 28 other countries that are currently bidding to join WTO. The Comoros accession bid was launched at the 9 October meeting of the WTO General Council, where a Working Party was established to examine the application. Said Abdou Salime, Secretary General at the Ministry of Economy and Trade of the Comoros, told the meeting that the membership application of his country to the WTO was proof of its political will to become part of the world economy. He said that his government recognized that trade policy is an essential part of development.

    To join WTO, current members have to agree on each new application's terms of accession, a process that takes place over several years, during which the country's trade and economic policies are presented, scrutinised and discussed, within the Working Party itself, and bilaterally with individual WTO members. The talks determine the benefits (in the form of export opportunities and guarantees) other WTO members can expect when the new member joins. Once that process is completed, the Working Party finalizes a report, a draft membership treaty, called the "protocol of accession", and lists of commitments, called "schedules". These documents comprise the *decision", which is then submitted to a vote by WTO members, in which a two-thirds majority provides the go-ahead to WTO accession, subject, in many cases, to ratification by the country's own parliament or legislature.

    Countries currently bidding to join WTO are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanese Republic, Libya, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Samoa, Sao Tomé and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen