2005 News Story

Saudi Arabia officially joins the WTO

The General Assembly of the World Trade Organization accredited Saudi Arabia’s credentials November 11, officially making the Kingdom the 149th member of the WTO. The Saudi delegation to the meeting was led by Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Hashim Yamani, who said that the historic step would help integrate the Saudi economy into the global economy, increase domestic and foreign investments, create jobs and increase the access of Saudi products and services to international markets.

Director-General Pascal Lamy welcomed Saudi Arabia’s entry into the WTO. “Today’s decision is a historic event for the WTO. Saudi Arabia is on its way to becoming the WTO’s 149th Member, paving the way for a stronger multilateral trading system,” he said.

The General Council Chair, Ambassador Amina Mohamed, also lauded Saudi Arabia’s accession. “It is a great honor for me to witness the constructive spirit in which these negotiations have been completed. Members have taken not only a major step towards better international economic cooperation but they have also allowed the World Trade Organization to become more universal,” said Ambassador Mohamed.

As part of its entry into the WTO, Saudi Arabia has agreed to enact a number of important commitments to further liberalize its trade regime and accelerate its integration in the global economy, while offering a transparent and predictable environment for trade and foreign investment in accordance with WTO regulations.

In Riyadh today, the Shura Council welcomed Saudi Arabia’s accession to the WTO and affirmed that membership in the organization would contribute positively to enacting economic reforms in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia will become a full member of the organization 30 days from November 11, in time to attend the WTO’s December meeting in Hong Kong.