April 8, 2019
The Bahamas should become a member of the WTO within a year
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) welcomed The Bahamas' commitment to make rapid progress with its WTO accession process.
At the fourth meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of The Bahamas, held on April 5, members expressed their full support to the government of The Bahamas' ambition to secure WTO membership by the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference to be held in Astana in June 2020.
The country's Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry, and Immigration, Mr Brent Symonette, who led The Bahamas' delegation from Nassau said: "We seek to join the WTO because we believe that participating in the rules-based global trading system makes sense for our economy. Participation affirms the importance of that system to the stability and growth of the world economy."
The Chair of the Working Party, Ambassador Andrew Staines of the United Kingdom, said: " The Bahamas' WTO accession process which was officially reset last September begins to show that Nassau's domestic reform process matches its ambition to integrate into the multilateral trading system. I believe that today we have again laid a solid foundation for the next stage of the process."
Since the last meeting of the Working Party in September 2018, the delegation of The Bahamas has been engaged with members bilaterally. At the meeting on April 5, The Bahamas reported that on the margins of the Working Party meeting it has concluded one bilateral market access agreement and with other members there has been tangible progress.
Members were encouraged that the Working Party was meeting just six months after the previous meeting as a result of the concrete results of the ongoing domestic reform discussion in Nassau.