Samoa’s successful accession to the WTO including Vanuatu, the Russian Federation and Montenegro were congratulated by the Hon. ‘Isilelei Pulu, Tonga’s Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries also responsible for Trade, at the WTO 8th Ministerial Conference in Geneva, on Saturday 17 December 2011.
Hon. Pulu highlighted to the Conference that the accessions of Samoa together with Vanuatu will improve the integration of the Pacific islands as a region, into the multilateral trading system, and will better place the Pacific to be more responsive, to the challenges in the global economic system. Samoa and Vanuatu now joins Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands as the Pacific members of the WTO.
Speaking to the Plenary on Samoa’s accession, Hon. Pulu drew attention of the Conference that Samoa and Tonga are small and vulnerable economies will require the pragmatic application of special and differential treatment of small economies and LDCs to all WTO agreements. Hon. Pulu also reaffirmed to the Conference that subsequent to Tonga’s participation in the successful 3rd Global Review of Aid for Trade in July 2011, the initiatives and opportunities identified that Aid for Trade can build the Pacific capacities for more effective application of trade rules, and the monitoring of trade measures.
Tonga’s Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries further emphasized to the Conference its endorsement of the positive developments emerging from this 8th WTO Ministerial Conference, to complement the Pacific region’s commitment, to foster stronger economic integration, commitment to promoting stronger economic growth, increased employment opportunities, and development.
Hon. ‘Isileli Pulu attended the WTO 8th Ministerial Conference with the Charge’ of Tonga’s High Commission to London and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Mr. Sione Sonata Tupou, and Secretary for Labour, Commerce and Industries Tatafu Moeaki.