Laos poised for WTO membership by end-2012
Laos could join the World Trade Organization by the end of 2012 as negotiations for its membership are accelerating, said the chair of Laos' accession talks Yi Xiaozhun.
Laos’ commerce minister Nam Viyaketh said it was an “ambitious goal” but “a realistic objective.”
The Southeast Asian nation has just one outstanding bilateral negotiation — with Ukraine, which Yi sees ending by mid-April.
However, it would still have to revise several pieces of legislation on market access in order to conform to WTO rules.
Laos, one of the world’s poorest states, applied to become a member of the trade bloc in 1997, but negotiations only began in proper in 2004.