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Laos joins WTO next month

Laos will become the 158 th member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on February 2, after its government ratified its accession agreement. The Southeast Asian country − the third ‘least developed country’ (LDC) to accede in the past two years − has set maximum tariff rates for all goods, with an average of 19.3% for agricultural products. Farm subsidies will also be limited and export subsidies banned (see AE2538, 30.10.12). Meanwhile, WTO members will discuss agricultural elements of the stalled negotiations on a multilateral trade agreement at an informal meeting of the organisation’s agriculture committee this week (January 18).

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