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Two decades of waiting and working pays off as WTO admits Seychelles

Two decades of waiting and working pays off as WTO admits Seychelles ( It is official now – the World Trade Organization (WTO) has, after nearly 20 years of discussing the joining up of the Seychelles, finally agreed that the archipelago is ready to join the other 160 nations and become a full member of WTO. The initial application was submitted already in 1995 but only gathered momentum after the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) left the Seychelles’ little choice but to launch major financial and economic reforms at the time.

The Minister for Finance and Trade, Jean Paul Adams, made the announcement yesterday in Victoria, the Seychelles’ capital, and called the joining great news for the Seychelles’ economy and the people of the Seychelles. Under the WTO membership, the Seychelles will enjoy major benefits and access to the global market place under equitable conditions.

The mainstream economic activities are tourism, fishing, and trade, with tourism the actual backbone for employment and foreign exchange earnings. With over 90 percent of the locally-bought consumer goods and food stuffs being imported, membership in the WTO was seen as crucial to have a say in the Doha round negotiations. A media statement from WTO’s Director General welcomed the Seychelles to the global trade body and read in part:

“I am delighted to welcome the Republic of Seychelles as the 161st member of the WTO. This is great news for Seychelles' economy and, therefore, for the people of Seychelles. It is also a boost for the WTO and a vote of confidence in the organization, as we redouble our efforts to complete the Doha round of negotiations.”


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