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WTO membership rises to 157 as Russia, Vanuatu join

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Pascal Lamy – WTO boss

The membership of the World Trade Organisation  (WTO) has risen to 157 following new entrants Russia and Vanuatu, the organization said August 22, 2012.

“Today (August 22, 2012), Russia becomes the 156th WTO member. Vanuatu will join the WTO on August 24 as its 157th member,” the WTO announced in a statement.

“Once again this year, we welcome two new members in the WTO family. It has been a long journey for both countries and they will undoubtedly strengthen the multilateral trading system”, said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.

From the date of accession, the WTO says Russia has committed to fully apply all the organisation’s provisions, with recourse to very few transitional periods. “On average, the Russian Federation will apply a final bound tariff for 7.8% for goods and has made specific commitments on 11 services sectors,” it said.

Vanuatu on the other hand committed that, from the date of accession, it will fully apply all WTO provisions and did not require recourse to any transitional period except on intellectual property and on the publication of trade information.

Vanuatu will apply an average final bound rate of 39.7% and has made specific commitments on 10 services sectors, WTO stated.

By Ekow Quandzie

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