Work Visit H.E MCI. DR. Nino Pereira to Geneva, Switzerland Summary

Geneva, Switzerland, 10 – 12 January 2024

H.E. Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Nino Pereira conduct his three days state of visit (10 – 12 January 2024) to Geneva Switzerland to accompany the Chief negotiator of Timor-Leste accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), H.E Minister of Transport and Communications Mr. Miguel Manetelu to attend the 7th Working Group meeting of Timor-Leste Accession to the WTO with all state members.

This Visit start with H.E Minister accompanies the main of chief negotiator of Timor-Leste to hold the courtesy meeting with the chief Negotiator of United States on January 10th at WTO general headquarters. At this meeting, the two parties discussed about cooperation between the two nations and also the progress of Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO.

Following day, H.E Minister accompanies the chief negotiator hold a preparatory meeting with Chair Person of Timor-Leste accession to the WTO, Mr. Ambassador Rui Maciera from Portugal and also with the technical team of WTO accession of Timor-Leste, together with the WTO Secretariat team from division of this accession. This Meeting aims to update the service and also facilitate the progress of this Meeting Working Group Accession of Timor-Leste to the WTO for the chief negotiator and also H.E Minister, which includes the non-formal and formal meeting before entering this main meeting in the following section at WTO general headquarters.

The main meeting – 7th Meeting of the Timor-Leste Working Group for Accession to the WTO with the purpose of obtaining approval from all WTO member states, technically relative to Timor-Leste’s draft document package for Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO. At the meeting held on January 11, all WTO member states approved Timor-Leste’s draft document package through the AD REFERENDUM system. With this, it means that Timor-Leste has completed all its technical processes to join the WTO and this is the final meeting of the Timor-Leste Working Group for Accession to the WTO with technical member states.

After the working group meeting H.E Minister also led a coordination meeting with all development partners (bilateral and multilateral) together with the WTO Secretariat to discuss how these partners could technically support Timor-Leste in the implementation process of agreements. In general, the partners praised Timor-Leste’s rapid accession process and appreciated the example Timor-Leste demonstrated during the preparation process for its own membership application. At the meeting, the partners also expressed their readiness to support Timor-Leste in the post-accession process, while some acknowledged that this process would pose even greater challenges for Timor-Leste, and therefore encourage Timor-Leste to work harder.

Following, the package of the documents will be delivered to the 13th Ministerial Conference of WTO in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as a collective government that exceeds in the WTO system to take actions to formalize Timor-Leste’s membership to the WTO. The formalization of WTO membership will be done together with the Union of Comoros, which has already completed its technical process.

13 Ministerial Conference will be held in February and will also be participate by the delegation of Timor-Leste, including H.E Minister of Commerce and Industry.

When the Ministerial Conference is ongoing, WTO technical team and secretariat of WTO will work together with the team of Ministry of Commerce and Industry to observe the implementation strategy of WTO agreement in the post- accession phase.

In the short term, the WTO team that has received guidance from H.E Minister of Commerce and Industry will consult with the WTO team from the Economic Affairs Coordination Ministry’s Cabinet to look at the post-accession strategy and also to be able to receive the visit from the WTO Secretariat from Geneva to Timor-Leste.