Liberia was Wednesday admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) during the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi at a session attended by Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Uhuru Kenyatta.
Liberia, which becomes the 35th member of the Least Developed Countries to join WTO, will be required to present the accession protocol to the country’s parliament for approval.
President Kenyatta congratulated President Sirleaf on her country’s accession to WTO, saying the membership carried considerable gains and benefits.
“Let me congratulate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the decision taken by this WTO meeting to approve the terms and conditions of membership of Liberia,” he said.
He observed that the visionary leadership provided by the Liberian President and the support of WTO Secretary-general made the completion of the accession possible.
President Kenyatta said the benefits to Liberia include a platform for domestic reforms and should inspire other African countries in their reform agenda.
On her part, President Sirleaf welcomed the WTO membership as a turning point to her country’s history after 12 years of peace and stability.
She said her country is committed to the WTO principles of fully integrating into the multilateral trading system.
President Sirleaf invited investors to her country, saying youth under the age of 25 constituted 60 per cent of the 4.5million population, guaranteeing availability of labour.
“We appreciate the collaborative effort of our development partners. Liberia fully subscribes to the common African position on strengthening the rule-based multilateral trade system for the Africa that we want. A system founded on the principles of respect, fair and transparent global trade that is of mutual benefit to all,” she added.
Others speakers were Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, who is also the chairperson of the Ministerial Conference, WTO Secretary-general Roberto Azevêdo and the chairperson of the working committee on Accession of Liberia Joakim Reiter.
President Kenyatta later held separate bilateral talks with Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and US Trade Representative Michael Froman who paid him a courtesy call at Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
President Kenyatta and the two visitors discussed matter of mutual interest.