Cabo Verde’s accession to the WTO

Cabo Verde applied for membership in the WTO in November 1999. Accession became effective in July 2008, only a few months following the country’s graduation from the list of LDCs. The accession negotiation process was not without problems due to Cabo Verde’s limited institutional capacity to elaborate a negotiation strategy, to prepare the technical dossiers and to carry out the background studies to support the country’s positions and interests in the negotiations. A lack of a clear trade policy or strategy compounded the difficulties the country experienced during negotiations.

The Protocol of Accession includes a number of sectoral Action Plans that schedule the measures to be taken until 2018 to allow for the normative convergence with WTO rules. The most sensitive areas for Cabo Verde were intellectual property, mediation and arbitration, agriculture, food safety, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, protection of human health, technical barriers to trade, and customs procedures.

Some important derogations were obtained by Cabo Verde.

Cabo Verde’s experience and challenges with accession to the WTO are discussed in a case-study prepared for this portal.