WTO hosts training for government officials

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While Bhutan government has rejected the call for joining the China-led regional bank Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), it has continued its efforts to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dominated by western countries.

The Department of Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs conducted a half day talk on WTO and WTO related issues at Hotel Taj Tashi on 25 August.

Shirshir Priyadarshi, Director, Development Division in WTO Secretariat explained about several WTO related issues including pertaining to WTO and the role of multilateral trading system, benefits of joining WTO (including as an LDC), implications on accession process after graduating from LDC and misconceptions on WTO.

The talk was attended by senior officials from Government Ministries, Corporations, NGOs and parliamentarians.

While WTO secretariat has been pushing Bhutan to join, the government is hesitant to take any official decision. Earlier this year, the government had said, Bhutan is yet to be ready to reap the opportunities in WTO.

Though the government hasn’t publicly rejected the idea of joining WTO, it has rejected joining AIIB. It has been learning through private sources that ADB and World Bank had lobbied at the government level to influence Bhutan to reject AIIB proposal though all neighbouring countries have accepted it.

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