This document discusses reasons for and implications of Cambodia's accession to the World Trade Organisation. It highlights the fact that Cambodia's decision to enter the WTO was accelerated by the end of quotas for the garment and textile industry in January 2005. Being outside of the WTO would have meant that Cambodian garment exporters risked facing continued quotas on their exports, which would have affected the flow of Foreign Direct Investment into the industry. Joining the WTO also provided Cambodia, with guaranteed market access, an improved domestic investment climate due to goods and service liberalization, and access to low cost drugs.
Specific lessons drawn from Cambodia's accession are:
• Unlike the People's Republic of China, Cambodia has no current or potential capabilities to become a major player in the world market nor to disrupt powerful WTO members' domestic markets .
• Cambodia must demonstrate to its negotiating partners that it has the capacity and political will to implement the commitments made to other WTO members.
• the process of accession represents a great opportunity for local capacity building .
• Cambodia has used its accession strategy to negotiate and obtain what it judges to be favourable terms of accession, while at the same time protecting its sensitive national interest.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC20294