WTO Accepts Laos As 158th Member State

Law360, New York (October 26, 2012, 5:28 PM EDT) -- The World Trade Organization voted Friday to accept Laos as a member, adding the Southeast Asian country as the world body's 158th member after a 15-year Laotian effort to join.

The trade body's general counsel, composed of all current members, voted to approve the so-called Protocol of Accession, which now must be ratified by the Laotian government. Thirty days after ratification, Laos will automatically join the WTO.

Officially called Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the landlocked communist country first applied for WTO membership in July 1997, but...
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