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SParker Presentation

SParker Presentation

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Published by: jordeeadb on Feb 22, 2011
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The Lao PDR WTO AccessionProcess: Next Steps TowardAccession and Lessons fromVietnamDRAFT FOR DISCUSSION ONLY
Steve Parker, LUNA-Lao Project ManagerSeptember 10, 2010Organization of Presentation
,where Laos stands in the WTO accession processHow Vietnam proceeded through the WTO accession process
 –The key role played by the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA)as a stepping stone to WTO accession –The BTA/WTO as a roadmap for modernizing the legal system –Strong economic impact of the BTA and WTO
Current challenges for Lao PDR WTO accession process
 –Progress made, challenges that remain
Similarities and differences between WTOaccession in Laos and Vietnam
Key Principles of the WTO –153 Member Countries
Rules-based global trade system; stated in more than 60 negotiatedareements
Non-discrimination among countries: –Most-favored nation (MFN) treatment provides the same treatmentfor all trading partners –National treatment (NT) provides the same treatment for foreignand Laos businesses in the Lao economyCommitment to bind and lower trade barriers over time, to preventbacksliding (schedule of commitments for trade and services), and tono ose orer erazaon w en e orer proeconCommitment to transparencyAny exceptions to WTO Principles, such as trade remedies or specialand differential treatment for LDCs, are carefully prescribedCommitment to resolve policy disputes through WTO disputesettlement processes
What the WTO Covers
Trade in goods and services
 –GATT and GATS: Tariffs, customs processes, trading rights,SPS/TBT, subsidies, trade remedies, agriculture, regulationof services, ++
Intellectual property rights (TRIPS)Investment development (TRIMS)Transparency (in-country, notification and commentsamong WTO Members, WTO trade policy reviews)Right to appeal government decisionsTrade policy dispute settlement
Laos Is Acceding to the WTO as a Least DevelopedCountry
Only a few countries have acceded through this windowMost developing countries acceded to the WTO asmembers of the GATT; they entered the GATT easily asnewly independent countriesCambodia and Nepal are recent examples of countries thatacceded as a least developing country; Vietnam acceded to theWTO as a full-standing country
What does Least developing country status mean:
Except for a few exceptions, LDCs will have to comply with all WTOrequirementsLDC status, however, allows longer phase in periods to meet WTOstandards
WTO Accession Process –Lao PDR AccessionNegotiations Getting Increasingly Serious and
Laos will hold its 6
Working Party meeting in Geneva on Sept.24, with bilateral negotiations on the sideTransparency stage of questions and answers leads todevelopment of the Working Party ReportBilateral negotiations on schedule of concessions to bind tariffsFinal approval by all WTO members of Working Party Report,negotiated by members on the Working PartyASEAN countries do not negotiate on WTO accession, but Laosis covered by ASEAN requirements

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