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Monday, 28 October 2013

Accession to the WTO: Seychelles concludes negotiations with EU

Seychelles Ambassador Vivienne Fock Tave and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Angelos Pangratis today signed a deal concluding bilateral negotiations on Seychelles’ accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The bilateral deal provides for the lowering of tariffs for trade in goods and for the opening of services markets upon accession. These commitments will be then embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of Seychelles to the WTO. Accession to the WTO is expected to make a lasting contribution to the process of economic reform and sustainable development in the Seychelles.
“Today's signature is a milestone in Seychelles' WTO accession process and an important step towards fostering our economic relations," said Pangratis. "The EU strongly supports the WTO accession of our partner in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific group. We believe that Seychelles has made remarkable progress in preparing for WTO entry and hope to welcome it into the WTO family very soon".
The Republic of Seychelles applied for WTO membership on 31 May 1995 with the WTO Working Party on its accession being established on 11 July 1995. In order to become a WTO member, Seychelles must complete bilateral negotiations with interested WTO members and obtain the endorsement of this Working Party.
The EU is Seychelles' main trading partner, accounting for 61% of its exports and 30% of its imports. Trade in goods between the EU and Seychelles is governed by the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) concluded in 2007 and provisionally applied since May 2012.

Source: European Commission

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