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Sutton At WTO: Accession Of Cambodia And Nepal




Mr Chairman
Mr Director-General
Mr Prasidh Cham, Minister of Commerce for Cambodia
Mr Hari Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies for Nepal
Distinguished Ministers and delegates

Today I would like to very warmly congratulate Cambodia and Nepal on their accession to the World Trade Organisation.

Not only are Cambodia and Nepal the two newest members of the WTO, they are also the first Least Developed Countries to conclude their WTO accession negotiations and I warmly commend them on their achievement. Their accession is a sign of the commitment of Ministers to the objectives made at Doha. New Zealand hopes that their accessions will provide an example to other Least Developed Countries and encourage a new momentum to those LDC accessions still outstanding.

New Zealand would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the WTO Guidelines on the Accession of Least Developed Countries, agreed last December, aimed at facilitating and accelerating the accession of Least Developed Countries. The expansion of the WTO to include new members, particularly Least Developed Countries, can only strengthen the multilateral trading system on which we all depend.

Cambodia’s accession to the WTO is an important step towards that country’s integration into the global economy. The economic reforms associated with Cambodia’s accession to the WTO complement the significant advances it has made in moving towards a more market-oriented economy. We were pleased to have supported Cambodia’s accession through targeted capacity building assistance.

New Zealand has been closely involved in the accession of Nepal to the WTO. Indeed a New Zealander chaired the Nepal Working Party at an earlier stage. We also participated actively in the Working Party and were the first country to conclude bilateral market access negotiations with Nepal. Nepal continues to be an important market for New Zealand wool and its accession to the WTO today provides a firm basis for this trade into the future.

Once again can I warmly congratulate Cambodia and Nepal, and express New Zealand’s interest in working closely with them on progressing the shared agenda of the WTO.

New Zealand Delegation

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