10 Aug 2011

NGOs converge on Vanuatu, urge govt against WTO accession

9:32 pm on 10 August 2011

Non government groups are in Vanuatu this week encouraging the country to think again about joining the World Trade Organisation.

Vanuatu is close to acceding to the WTO but the NGOs say the country's giving up too much and will gain little from membership.

The Third World Network's Sanya Reid Smith says Vanuatu would lift tariffs yet these have been used to develop local industries and provide jobs.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation says the package could make it harder for ordinary ni-Vanuatu to access essential services and raise the cost of items such as pharmaceuticals, while also creating difficulties for the government.

PANG says the NGOs are speaking at the Chiefs' Nakamal on Thursday local time, and holding a public meeting on Saturday.