Statement by the Delegation of Indonesia at the WTO General Council Meeting, Agenda Item 7 : Request by the Syrian Arab Republic to Accede to the WTO – Communication from Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group

May 4, 2010 Trade/WTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

Indonesia aligns itself with the statement made by the Dominican Republic on behalf of the Informal Group of Developing Countries (IGDC) and Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group regarding the accessions of developing countries to the WTO.

Indonesia shares the views of the IGDC and the Arab Group that every accession process should rather be guided by commercial, technical and legal factors.

We should remind ourselves that the primary objective of the WTO is to continuously strengthen the multilateral trading system by bringing all trading partners together under the same set of rules and disciplines. The equal treatment of all Members and the provision of welfare to all people are the key objectives of the WTO and we should all strive to fulfill these.

The principles of universality and inclusiveness, which characterize the WTO, should be maintained and strengthened by way of allowing the accession of new Members.

Indonesia notes that Syria, since submitting its application to the WTO, has undertaken economic and domestic reforms to adapt its laws and regulations to meet WTO rules and requirements.

Therefore, a Working Party needs to be established as soon as possible to verify that Syria’s domestic standards are indeed in line with those stipulated by the WTO.

Bringing Syria and other developing Middle Eastern countries into the WTO fold will be highly constructive in strengthening the welfare and stability of the region.

Thank you.

Geneva, 4 May 2010