25 Jul 2012

Vanuatu formally joins WTO

2:31 pm on 25 July 2012

Vanuatu has formally become the 156th member of the World Trade Organisation, with the Protocol of Accession deposited with the Geneva-based world trading body.

Vanuatu's Ambassador to the European Union and Belgium, Roy Mickey Joy, says it is the end of 17 daunting years of intense and protracted negotiations between Port Vila and Geneva.

Pacnews reports Mr Joy as saying he is very happy and pleased that it has come to an end and Vanuatu can take up its seat at the WTO negotiating table.

Last week, Vanuatu's President Iolu Johnson Abubil signed the membership protocol, allowing the country to join five other Pacific Island countries - Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga, which are already WTO members.