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WTO membership rises to 147 with accession of Nepal
www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-23 18:20:50

    GENEVA, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- The Kingdom of Nepal, which started its accession negotiations in 1989, became the 147th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Friday.

    Nepal is also the first least developed member of the WTO sincethe world trade body was established in 1995. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which is WTO's predecessor, had already had 29 least developed members.

    Nepal's accession package was approved on Sept. 11, 2003 by the5th WTO Ministerial Conference at Cancun, Mexico.

    On March 24, the government of Nepal notified the WTO that the process of ratification and acceptance of the Protocol of Accession had been completed in parliament. According to the established practice, the entry into force of the Protocol occurred 30 days later -- on April 23, 2004.

    Cambodia also has completed negotiations in 2003, but the process of ratification in Parliament is still pending.

    Another 24 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ukraine, are in the process of negotiation to become members of the WTO.

    Iran, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan have submitted requests for WTO accession negotiations. Enditem

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