Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented, “After many years of negotiations, it is positive that Russia can now take full part in the WTO together with 155 other countries.”
The protocol of accession was signed in Geneva on 16 December 2011 after nearly 18 years of negotiations. Following the ratification of the protocol by the Duma, Russia became a member of the WTO as of 22 August.
“The fact that our countries are now bound by the same global trade rules means greater predictability for Norwegian companies. We look forward to constructive cooperation in the WTO,” said Mr Støre.
Russia is Norway’s largest single export market for fish and Norway’s 19th largest export market in general, totalling NOK 7.7 billion in 2011. The export of machinery and transport equipment is growing rapidly. In 2011, Norway imported goods amounting to NOK 10.5 billion from Russia, mainly oil and aluminium. Russia is Norway’s 14th most important import country.
With the accession of Russia, all the major economies are now members of the World Trade Organization, making it a truly global organisation covering 97 % of world trade.