New Zealand is very pleased to welcome the accession of Saudi Arabia as the 149th member of the World Trade Organisation respectively. New Zealand places high priority on the WTO. It is a democratic organisation, owned and accountable to the people through its member governments. It provides the only multilateral rules-based trading system in the global economy and helps to ensure that the trading interests of large and small countries alike are respected. Of course the WTO is not perfect; but it is the best system we have to win the benefits of free and fair trade between nations.

   The WTO’s increasing developing country membership is important, ensuring that the benefits of globalisation reach the developing world. Four-fifths of WTO members are developing countries. They play an essential part in ensuring that the Doha Development Agenda keeps to the objective of placing developing countries’ needs and interests at the heart of the Doha Work Programme. As an agricultural exporter we appreciate the moves that Saudi Arabia has made to improve trade in agricultural commodities. We look forward to supporting Saudi Arabia as it implements its WTO commitments and to changes that will strengthen and encourage our mutual trading relationship. Once again, congratulations to Saudi Arabia on their accession, which contributes to the universal and representative nature of this organisation.

By : Phil Goff, New Zealand
Minister of Foreign Affairs and trade