Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

4 April 2009

Australia and Samoa Agree on WTO Membership Terms

Trade Minister Simon Crean has welcomed the completion of bilateral market access negotiations between Australia and Samoa as part of Samoa’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mr Crean signed the agreement with Samoa’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Misa Telefoni, on 4 April 2009 during his official visit to Samoa.

Mr Crean is visiting Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand to consult on a range of trade and development issues - particularly the prospective PACER Plus agreement.

The agreement with Samoa was developed in accordance with special WTO guidelines for the accession of Least Developed Countries.

The deal will provide security of market access for a range of Australia merchandise exports including meat and dairy products, grains, and some electrical equipment.

"The outcomes will improve trading conditions for Australian exporters and help provide a secure basis for expanding exports," Mr Crean said.

On services, Samoa has made a range of commitments, including educational services, financial services, and legal advisory services. A number of Australian companies are pursuing investment interests in Samoa’s banking sector.

In 2007, Australia was Samoa’s largest export destination and fourth largest source of imports. Total merchandise trade between Samoa and Australia in 2007-08 amounted to A$119 million.

Australian imports from Samoa in this period were A$91 million and Australian exports were valued at A$28 million. Key exports included electrical apparatus for switching electrical circuits, malt, milk and cream.

The agreement will take effect when Samoa joins the WTO.

Samoa is still negotiating the overall terms of its WTO membership.

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