The Inquirer (Monrovia)

1 May 2014

Liberia: ITC Exec. Stresses Benefit for WTO

The Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC), Ms. Arancha Gonzalez, has stressed the importance of Liberia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ms. Gonzalez, speaking alongside Commerce and Industry Minister, Axel Addy at a news conference following the official opening ceremony of the Second Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the ballroom of the Monrovia City Hall, said Ms. Gonzalez said with the launching of the Liberia National Trade Policy (LNTP) and the Liberia National Export Stratey (LNES), her organization will work along with the country for its accession to the WTO.

Ms. Gonzalez said Liberia's membership of the WTO will increase her chances for international loan with MSMEs and other businesses in the country.

She said the LNTP will lead to the country entering the WTO and being a member of the WTO and will also promote regional trade and integration, primarily in the context of the Mano River Union and ECOWAS through implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme and Common External Tariff and reduction of regional non-tariff measures promote global market access for Liberian goods and services through WTO membership and efficient use of preferential trade agreements and preference schemes.

When asked what happens if a country is not a member of the WTO, Ms. Gonzalez said it does not encourage proper integration of that country's economy and that the country does not participate in Trade disputes at the international level and that country does not enjoy the economic advantages of the world.

Liberia is the only country in West African region that is not a member of the World Trade Organization thus the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under the leadership of Mr. Axel Addy had to craft the Liberia National Trade Policy (LNTP) and the Liberia National Export Strategy (LNES).

Also speaking at the news conference, Commerce and Industry Minister, Axel Addy, lauded his predecessor, Madam Miata Beyslow and other stakeholders who worked tirelessly for the crafting of the two trade instruments.

Minister Addy vowed that the Government of Liberia (GOL) will continue to work along with the ITC in a bid to ensure that Liberia becomes a member of the WTO and benefit from the many trade advantages associated with WTO membership: reports Timothy T. Seaklon.

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