The 2013 WTO accession of Lao PDR: Specific commitments and the integration of leastdeveloped countries into the global economy

When Lao PDR applied for membership of the WTO in 1997, it used the WTO accession process as a tool to implement its decision to establish a market economy and fully integrate into the world economy. Although at the outset market access was not considered to be the principal benefit to be derived from WTO accession, Lao PDR was aware that WTO membership would give its economy additional security and predictability. WTO accession negotiations allowed Lao PDR to apply international best practices and to align its trade policy with the principles of nondiscrimination and transparency. Adaptation to international trade requirements is a longer-term challenge, and post-accession challenges remain, but the benefits are significant and worthwhile.

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