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Africa, Caribbean, Pacific | Geneva, October 23rd 2013

EU and Seychelles conclude bilateral negotiations on Seychelles’ accession to the WTO

Seychelles Ambassador Vivienne Fock Tave and EU Ambassador Angelos Pangratis today signed a deal concluding bilateral negotiations on Seychelles’ accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Accession to the WTO is expected to make a lasting contribution to the process of economic reform and sustainable development in the Seychelles.

“Today's signature is a milestone in Seychelles' WTO accession process and an important step towards fostering our economic relations," said EU Ambassador Angelos Pangratis. "The EU strongly supports the WTO accession of our partner in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific group. We believe that Seychelles has made remarkable progress in preparing for WTO entry and hope to welcome it into the WTO family very soon".

The bilateral deal provides for the lowering of tariffs for trade in goods and for the opening of services markets upon accession. These commitments will be then embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of Seychelles to the WTO.

Background

The Republic of Seychelles applied for WTO membership on 31 May 1995 with the WTO Working Party on its accession being established on 11 July 1995. In order to become a WTO member, Seychelles must complete bilateral negotiations with interested WTO members and obtain the endorsement of this Working Party.

EU-Seychelles trade in facts and figures

The EU is Seychelles' main trading partner, accounting for 61% of its exports and 30% of its imports. In 2012 the total value of EU goods exported to Seychelles was €287 million, with imports from Seychelles amounted to €200 million. Seychelles mainly supplies the EU market with fish and fishery products which represent more than 90% of its imports to the EU. The main EU exports are frozen fish, machinery, electrical equipment and ships.

Trade in goods between the EU and Seychelles is governed by the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) concluded in 2007 and provisionally applied since May 2012.

For further information

WTO accession negotiations Seychelles
European Commission trade with Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)