Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Hashim Yamani has announced that a bilateral agreement facilitating markets in the sector of trade in goods and services, vital to the Kingdom’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), was signed in Washington DC yesterday between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America. This, he said, concludes a round of 'decisive' negotiations over a period of almost five months.
[See September 9, 2005 press release.]
Dr Yamani noted that the signing is in part a result of the meeting in Texas four months ago between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and U.S. President George W. Bush; and it comes on the eve of the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz in the deliberations in New York of the United Nations General Assembly.
The agreement brings to 38 the number of countries that have signed bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia to pave the way for its accession to the WTO. Playing a part are the new systems and regulations that have been issued in the Kingdom in the areas of investment, commerce, finance and economics, such as laws governing the protection of the rights of intellectual property.