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Saeima approves of Latvia's withdrawal from World Tourism Organization

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 19.04.2012.Print version
Saeima today approved Latvia's withdrawal from the World Tourism Organization (WTO), according to the Economy Ministry's bill on terminating the agreement with the organization that was previously approved by the government.

The Economy Ministry's bill says that membership in the WTO is of little help in the development of Latvian tourism industry. Moreover, Latvia paid the organization LVL 41,903 in dues in 2011, which is among the highest membership fees Latvia has ever paid to any international organization, writes LETA.


The Economy Ministry has concluded, after an analysis of the advantages that the WTO membership offers Latvia, that further membership in the organization is not useful to Latvia. The ministry's decision was supported Latvian Tourism Consultative Council and State Tourism Development Agency.


The Economy Ministry believes that further membership in the WTO is not decisive to achieving Latvia's tourism development goals, because Latvia's interests are already being sufficiently represented internationally as Latvia participates in the work of European tourism institutions.


Several other European Union member states are not members of the WTO too: Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Finland and Sweden.

Latvia joined the WTO on October 20, 2003, and became a full-fledged member on January 1, 2005. As a result, the country was able to participate in various international tourism projects.


Currently the organization has 154 member states.

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