Friday, November 16, 2018

Bahamas' WTO Membership Is 'No Fait Accompli'

By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

THE Government's chief World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiator yesterday said The Bahamas' accession was no "fait accompli", telling accountants: "I'm not tied to any outcome."

Zhivargo Laing, the former Cabinet Minister, told attendees at the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) conference: "It's either the case that this works to the benefit of The Bahamas or we decide that we don't do it; it doesn't make sense. Why should we do any reform that does not enure to the benefit of this economy?

"It makes no sense just to belong. Belonging should have benefits. That is the job of negotiation; to ensure that whatever we negotiate has meaningful benefit to The Bahamas. That's my mindset. I'm not tied to any outcome. I am tied to to ensuring the best negotiations to produce the best outcomes for The Bahamas."

Mr Laing described this nation's decision to accede to full WTO membership as one of the "'most strategic the Government has ever made".

"Almost every other decision made was because we were asked or forced to do something," he said. "We started this in 2001. The average journey is nine years."  Read more >>