Thursday, April 30, 2015

Map: Seychelles Join WTO

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Map of World Trade Organization (WTO) member and observer countries, updated for April 2015 to include new member Seychelles
Member and observer states of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Map by Evan Centanni, starting from public domain blank map (license: CC BY-NC-SA).
Additional reporting by Caleb Centanni

Seychelles Joins WTO
This Sunday, Seychelles joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), a global body founded in 1995 to promote the management and expansion of international trade. The last country to join the organization was Yemen last June, preceded by Laos and Tajikistan in 2013.

Logo of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Organization Name:  
• World Trade Organization (English)
• Organisation mondiale du commerce (French)
• OrganizaciĆ³n Mundial del Comercio (Spanish)
Founded: 1994 in Marrakech, Morocco (commenced in 1995)
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Seychelles is a country made up of a group of islands off the coast of East Africa. A member of the African Union, it is Africa's smallest country by both area and population. This year marks the end of a 20-year negotiation process for Seychelles to enter the WTO. It is the organization's 161st member.

Of the 195 UN-recognized countries in the world, 157 (about 81%) are members of the WTO. Another four members are not UN-recognized nations: the Chinese administered territories of Hong Kong and Macau, the European Union, and the disputed state of Taiwan, which participates under the name “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)”.  

There are also 23 WTO “observers”, down from 24 now that Seychelles has become a full member. These observer countries are partially included in the organization and have applied for membership (excepting the Holy See, which does not plan to apply). There are only 15 UN-recognized countries that are neither members nor observers of the WTO.

WTO logo is displayed without permission, based on fair use principles (source).