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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Swedish support has enabled Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation

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Liberia was today accepted as a new member at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in Nairobi. At the accession ceremony, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf personally thanked Sweden for the support it provided via the National Board of Trade and Sida, and through the role Joakim Reiter played as the chair of the accession group.

Sweden has a unique status as a partner with Liberia in its accession process and Sweden's involvement has received considerable attention, both in Liberia and the WTO. Sweden's previous WTO Ambassador Joakim Reiter (currently Assistant Secretary-General of the UNCTAD) was chair of the working group for the accession process. The National Board of Trade, funded by Sida, supported Liberia through the process and helped strengthen its institutional capacity.

"Sweden's support to Liberia's accession to the WTO is fully in line with the Government's policy to promote free and fair global trade. A key part of this policy deals with giving developing countries – particularly the least developed countries – a chance to benefit from the open and rule-based trading system that the WTO offers. We therefore take great pleasure in welcoming Liberia as a new member of the WTO," says Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg.

The accession process was initiated when Liberia applied for membership of the WTO in 2007. In 2012, Liberia's president officially announced that its goal was to become a member of the WTO within five years, which was then seen as a very ambitious goal. The fact that Liberia overcame this challenge despite

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Ann Wolgers
Press Secretary to Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00