A general council meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreed to admit Laos to the organisation at its October 26 session, the WTO said in a press release.

The Southeast Asian country will become a full member after its Government ratifies the membership package.

Laos' Industry and Commerce Minister and Chief Negotiator Nam Viyaketh said he is confident the Lao National Assembly will ratify the membership in December.

Laos initially applied for entry to the WTO in 1997. Joining the WTO will commit Laos to a certain level of market access in goods and services. In particular, tariff ceilings on goods, subsidy limits in agriculture, and access to its services markets will be required.

For goods, the country has committed to maximum tariffs averaging 18.8 percent on all products, 19.3 percent for agricultural products and 18.7 percent for the rest.

In the services sector, Laos has made market access commitments in 10 sectors and 79 sub-sectors. These commitments will bring the country’s markets in line with WTO international standards and create greater transparency.-VNA