Ethiopia Considering to Join WTO

Ethiopia Considering to Join WTO

Addis Tribune- March 24, 2000


By Our Staff Reporter


Ethiopia is seriously considering to join the World Trade Organization. Ato Kassahoun Ayele, Minister of Trade and Industry,

disclosed this in his report to Parliament last week. He said a study was underway and the first draft of the study had been



A committee had been set up from concerned ministries to present a study on the advantages and disadvantages of joining

WTO. The WTO, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a reorganization of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The WTO mission is to promote trade by abolishing import tariffs and other barriers to open markets.


The WTO has a membership of 134 countries, with 30 observer countries waiting to join. Ethiopia is an observer country.

According to Ato Kassahoun, the current study was expected to be completed in about two months and will be submitted to

the government for decision.


Policy-making by member countries is on a consensus basis, creating long periods of negotiation. World trade has grown

enormously since 1950. The magnitude of growth of economic relations between the countries of the world, coupled with the

increased number of participants, raised the need for a reformed organization: the WTO. The WTO is a multilateral system

among many nations, rather than bilateral organization between two countries.