Vanuatu joins the WTO
On 1 December Vanuatu’s parliament finally voted in favour of joining the World Trade Organisation, clearing the way for membership. Myself and colleagues worked hard on accession over the past decade, and i’m glad it’s finally happened. I’ve never been a passionate advocate or critic of the WTO in Vanuatu; I just thought the country should do what was right for itself based on good information, diagnosis and analysis. WTO membership won’t mean access to new markets since European and US markets are already open to Least Developed Countries. It won’t open up markets to new goods imports because protection can mostly remain at current levels. One of the main benefits is that it’ll give the country a seat at the negotiating table. It’s a sign of a maturing country, one which has developed fast in the last few years.