BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 08:16 GMT
Yugoslavia applies to WTO
The main bridge from the north of Kosovska Mitrovica
Sanctions have left Yugoslavia with many difficulties
By Clare Doole in Geneva

Yugoslavia is taking the first steps towards membership of the World Trade Organisation as efforts continue to rejoin the international community.

The old Yugoslav federation was a member of the WTO's predecessor, GATT, but was suspended in 1992 after the country broke up in conflict.

Deputy Foreign Trade Minister, Boran Karadzole, will hand over Yugoslavia's request at a meeting with the director general of the WTO, Mike Moore, in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Yugoslav President
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica believes his country's image abroad has changed

Since President Vojislav Kostunica took office last October, Yugoslavia has renewed its membership of the UN and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and has joined the International Monetary Fund.

It'll take many years before Yugoslavia is accepted into the world's most important free trade club.

First, Yugoslavia's application must be approved at a general council meeting of the WTO's 140 members.

Positive signal

Then a working party will be set up of all members who want to make bilateral trade deals with Yugoslavia.

The republics of Serbia and Montenegro will have to ensure that all their legislation is compatible with international trade rules, as well as make a series of commitments to opening up their markets.

In return, they'll be able to export goods and services at the same competitive terms as other WTO members.

But even starting negotiations for membership can boost the economy, sending a positive signal to foreign investors that Yugoslavia is willing to play by global trade rules.

It will, however, have some catching up to do. Slovenia and Croatia are already members, while talks on the entry of Macedonia and Bosnia are gathering momentum.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

15 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Yugoslavia
16 Jan 01 | Europe
Timeline: After Milosevic
24 Oct 00 | Europe
Kostunica admits Kosovo guilt
10 Nov 00 | UK
UK donates 10m to Serbia
Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories