31 Jan 2008

Samoa and NZ conclude bilateral negotiation for WTO accession

7:57 pm on 31 January 2008

New Zealand and Samoa have successfully concluded negotiations on the major outstanding issues in Samoa's World Trade Organisation accession.

New Zealand's Trade Minister Phil Goff made the announcement, confirming Samoa's WTO bilateral accession negotiation.

To accede to the WTO a state is required to obtain endorsement from a WTO Working Party that its trade regime is consistent with WTO rules.

It must also conclude individual bilateral negotiations on the terms of their entry to the WTO with other members.

Mr Goff said the agreement will reflect Samoa's level of development, and the progress it has made in restructuring its economy and substantially reducing its tariffs.

He said a clear process has been agreed on to complete remaining technical work necessary for the agreement to be concluded.

The agreement will be signed by Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni and Phil Goff in early March.