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Seychelles (Accession to the WTO)

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 8 January 2015

My noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment (Lord Livingston) has today made the following statement.

I wish to inform the House that the Government have opted in to the Council decision relating to the accession of the Seychelles to the World Trade Organisation.

We are strong supporters of trade liberalisation, which promotes prosperity and jobs.

Opting in will help to achieve the Government’s trade policy objective of expanding the WTO’s membership.

The Government have supported the accession of the Seychelles to the WTO on the right terms. In acceding to the WTO, the Seychelles will embrace a series of rules and commitments which form the foundation of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory global trading system and which will provide important guarantees for them and for the other WTO members.

Accession to the WTO will bring the Seychelles more firmly into the global economy and make the Seychelles a more attractive place to do business.

The Council decision has the effect of extending to the Seychelles the horizontal commitments the UK makes to all WTO members, including in the provision of services by natural persons from third countries, otherwise known as “mode 4”. It is the presence of these mode 4 commitments in the relevant instruments which triggers the UK Justice and Home Affairs opt-in.