World Trade Organization, WTO

Estonia is a firm believer in liberal market economy and a strong supporter of predictable, rules-based, transparent and inclusive trade and liberal market economy. Estonia has been a member of WTO, the organization working to promote these values, since 13 November 1999. This year, Estonia celebrates its 20th anniversary of WTO membership.

Estonian WTO membership is two-fold. First, it is the European Commission (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) representing all the European Union member states at the WTO in its own rights. Secondly, Estonia promotes actively its priority economic topics, both through the European Commission, as well as a WTO member in its full rights.

The priority topics for Estonia are mostly related to the trade facilitation, wherein Estonia has strong experience to use e-governance tools. In addition, Estonia focuses on promoting e-commerce and investment facilitation. Here, Estonia actively uses the WTO Public Week as an open venue to promote the WTO policymaking process in these issues. In the context of economic development, promoting the women and youth entrepreneurship and MSMEs access to global markets are also focal for Estonia. Estonia supports the WTO Aid for Trade initiative and is also a long-term and steady contributor to the, WTO’s Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF) to help developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) improve their participation in global trade negotiations, and to the WTO Enhanced Integrated Framework.

Mentioning some other key issues for Estonia in the WTO regular work, one should take regard to food safety, adherence to the WTO veterinary and phyto-sanitary rules and WTO dispute settlement mechanism’s cases in these fields.