WTO membership rises to 157 with the entry of Russia and Vanuatu
22 August 2012, Russia becomes the 156th WTO member. Vanuatu join the WTO on 24 August as its 157th member. “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.
“Both accessions show that joining the WTO remains high on the countries’ agendas since trade can bring a predictable and stable basis for economic growth. This is especially important as the world goes through troubled times and continues to suffer from one of the worst global economic crisis in memory. Joining the WTO is a sign of confidence in the organization and in what it can deliver for its members”, said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
From the date of accession, the Russian Federation has committed to fully apply all WTO 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.
Vanuatu 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. The services sector has been growing and now accounts for three-quarters of Vanuatu’s GDP.