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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 09:24 GMT
Ukraine sees WTO boost to economy
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko, left, and Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy
WTO membership should increase foreign investment in Ukraine
Ukraine has joined the World Trade Organisation, a move the country's president said would boost the economy, especially the metals sector.

President Viktor Yushchenko said that membership - which reduces export trade barriers - should also buoy foreign investment and boost agriculture.

Ukraine is the world's eighth-largest steel maker and Mr Yushchenko expects metals production to rise by 22%.

The country's accession follows 14 years of negotiations.

The economy is expected to expand by an additional 1.7 percentage points as membership of the trading body eliminates many export barriers.

"I can say today that the Ukrainian economy is getting a colossal positive signal," Mr Yuschenko said after the WTO's General Council approved Ukraine's accession on Tuesday.

However, agriculture in Ukraine is still protected by state subsidies and quotas so could face difficulties adjusting to the global trade regime.

"This is the foundation for the rebirth of our agrarian economy," he said.

Russia is now the world's only major economy not to be a member of the WTO.

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