The WTO has 164 members. 128 countries were members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which symbolically acceded to the WTO on 1 January 1995 and quickly converted official affairs to the new structure. The other countries went through the six-step process to become WTO members. Here are the five new members: In December 2013, the largest agreement within the WTO was signed and known as the Bali Package. [114] According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of International Economic Law, “Almost all recent [preferential trade agreements) (ASPs) explicitly refer to the WTO, often dozens of times across multiple chapters. Similarly, in many of these SATs, we find that essential parts of the treaty`s wording – sometimes most of a chapter – are copied verbatim from a WTO agreement. the WTO`s presence in the SAA has increased over time. [20] Once the draft report and the Group`s accession protocol and the market access obligations for goods and services have been finalised to the satisfaction of the members of the Group, the Accession Package will be adopted at a final formal meeting of the Group. The final phase of accession will include bilateral negotiations between the candidate country and other members of the Working Party on Concessions and Commitments on Tariffs and Market Access for Goods and Services. The new Member`s obligations should apply equally to all WTO Members under normal non-discrimination rules, even if negotiated bilaterally. [95] For example, following its accession to the WTO, Armenia proposed a ceiling duty rate of 15% for market access for goods.

With tariffs, which are ad valorem, there are no specific or compound rates. In addition, there are no tariff quotas for industrial and agricultural products. [97] Armenia`s growth in economic and trade performance has been noted since its first review in 2010, particularly its recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis with an average annual GDP growth rate of 4%, despite some fluctuations. The Armenian economy has been marked by low inflation, poverty reduction and significant progress in improving its macroeconomic stability, in which trade in goods and services, equivalent to 87% of GDP, has played an increasing role. [98] The WTO accession process is unique for each candidate country and the conditions for accession depend on the state of the country`s economic development and the current trade regime. [88] The process takes about five years on average, but may take longer if the country is not fully engaged in the process or if political issues come into play. The shortest accession negotiation was that of the Kyrgyz Republic, the longest was that of Russia, whose accession was approved in December 2011 after an initial application for GATT membership and became a member of the WTO on 22 August 2012. [89] Kazakhstan has also had a lengthy accession negotiation process.

The “Accession of Kazakhstan” Group was established in 1996 and approved for accession in 2015. [90] The second longest was that of Vanuatu, whose working group for Vanuatu`s accession was established on July 11, 1995. .