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Bilateral Negotiations for Samoa WTO Accession

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade


31 January 2008
Media statement

Minister of Trade Announces Conclusion of Substantive Bilateral Negotiations for Samoa WTO Accession


Trade Minister Phil Goff with Samoa Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni

*****


New Zealand and Samoa have successfully concluded negotiations on the major outstanding issues in Samoa’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) bilateral accession negotiation, Trade Minister Phil Goff announced today.

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.

“Samoa sees membership of the WTO as being important to achieving its economic goals, and we support their efforts to realise this ambition,” Mr Goff said.

“The conclusion of our substantive negotiations with Samoa on the key goods issues is a major milestone towards Samoa’s objective.

“A clear process has been agreed to complete remaining technical work necessary for the agreement to be concluded.

“The agreement will reflect Samoa’s level of development, the significant progress it has already made in restructuring its economy and substantially reducing its tariffs and the close friendship between our two countries,” Mr Goff said.

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

ENDS

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