Nation’s Accession to WTO Crucial to Implement Economic Reform: Ethiopia’s Chief Trade Negotiator

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Addis Ababa June 28/2019 Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is critical for the realization of the ongoing economic reforms in the country, Ethiopia’s Chief Trade Negotiator and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister. 

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Chief Trade Negotiator and Senior Adviser Mamo Mihretu said joining WTO will create sufficient market opportunities to expand export market,  modernize trade, revise trade laws, and promote investment opportunities.

“The agreement can increase FDI in flow to the country and the expansion of investment will create ample job opportunities and engage the private sector that will boost the economy and  improve economic governance,” he elaborated.

According to Mamo, many countries have backed the request of Ethiopia to become a member of WTO.

A10-member national committee was formed recently by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to resume the process of WTO accession which was paused for the past six years due to various reasons.

Chairperson of the committee, Mamo Mihretu said it is composed of members from Office of the Prime Minister, ministries of Foreign Affairs, Revenues, Finance, Trade and Industry,  National Bank of Ethiopia, National Planning and Development Commission, Attorney General Office and Policy Study Institute.

Reports state that the fourth round of negotiations will be held within the coming two months in Geneva. Ethiopia is expected to submit prices of goods and services to WTO members and also answer 168 questions that had been forwarded from the previous round of negotiations.

The World Trade Organization is an international organization that sets global rules for trade, agreements that cover issues related to goods, services, and intellectual property.

It sets principles of liberalization, countries’ commitments to lower customs tariffs and other trade barriers and to open and keep open markets for services.