The Republic of Seychelles sought to advance to World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession but with limited expertise and experience in dealing with the range of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations that are involved. While accession to WTO responded to the specific need for improved market access to WTO members’ markets, the primary motivation was to participate in the multilateral trading system (MTS) in a more systematic and beneficial manner.
Technical assistance in Seychelles was aimed at developing and delivering the WTO Accession Road Map and provision of expertise in negotiations for accession to WTO and other trade negotiations. In the process the project identified and advised on the necessary adaptation of existing domestic trade policy and advised on negotiation strategies for multilateral, bilateral and regional trade negotiations.
The purpose of this project was to facilitate the process of Seychelles' accession to the WTO, while building the institutional and technical capacity within the Trade Division, Ministry of Finance and Trade and facilitate the Government of Seychelles in advancing its trade and development interest in the multilateral trading system.
In achieving WTO accession, Seychelles benefitted from the same treatment accorded to other members, such as market access for goods and services. Seychelles also benefitted from the security and predictability offered by the multilateral trading system, e.g. the dispute settlement mechanism.
The Ministry of Finance benefitted from the mentoring of Trade Section staff, which enhanced staff capability.
Once the project was completed and the Seychelles successfully acceded the WTO, there were further positive spill-over gains for the population contributing to the social and economic development of the country.