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World Trade Organization

WTO accession of new Members

A number of economies are negotiating to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Economies can only become Members with the unanimous agreement of all existing Members.

Who is eligible to become a WTO Member?

Any state or customs territory that has full autonomy in its trade policies can become a Member of (accede to) the World Trade Organization (WTO), but all WTO Members must agree on the terms.

How does an economy become a Member?

A working party of WTO Members is established to manage individual accession negotiations. Each economy forms an agreement to:

  • reform legislation and administrative processes
  • bring trade, tariff and industry policies in line with WTO rules
  • provide their trading partners with improved access to markets.

How do new Members benefit Australia?

More Members covered by the WTO's trade rules increases access, predictability and certainty for Australian traders in more markets.

Australia engages in accession negotiations to ensure our commercial interests are protected and promoted.


Last Updated: 11 October 2017
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