Australian Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson has welcomed Laos as the 158th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Australia supported Laos’s bid to join the WTO, serving two terms as Chair of the Working Party for Laos’s accession and providing technical assistance.
Dr Emerson said domestic reforms implemented as part of the joining the WTO had already benefited the Lao people.
“Now, as a Member of the WTO, they will enjoy the security of international trading rules, while reaping the benefits of further domestic economic reform,” he said.
Laos has agreed to lower its import tariffs on goods, including exports of Australian specialised machinery, parts and pumps as part of its membership.
Greater trade in these products will help Laos and Australia link into rapidly growing value chains in Asia, Dr Emerson said.
2M Director Tea Dietterich was recently in Laos meeting with Australian exporters in the Boloven Plateau region. “This is good news for our exporting clients and we expect to see an increased demand in language services into Lao language.”