Latvia in the World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organisation dealing with the global rules of trade. Latvia has been a member of the WTO since 10 February 1999 and is party to all the WTO agreements.
Since Latvia’s accession to the European Union (EU) on 1 May 2004, Latvia is represented by the EU in the WTO. The EU’s trade policy is one of the areas in which the Union as such has full and exclusive competency. Therefore the European Commission represents the interests of the EU and its 27 Member States in the daily work of the WTO, including regular work, trade negotiations and dispute settlement. At the same time, the Member States of the EU are also WTO members in their own right.
The EU's position on the WTO matters is discussed in the Trade Policy Committee of the Council of the EU as well in the EU coordination meetings in Geneva. These meetings are chaired by the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Latvia was holding its first EU Presidency in the first half of 2015.
Latvia also engages in the day-to-day work of the WTO by chairing various WTO committees. In 2020, the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements was chaired by the Ambassador – Permanent Representative to the WTO Mr Mārtiņš Kreitus. In 2016 the Ambassador – Permanent Representative to the WTO Ms Inga Ernstsone chaired the Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration. Previously, Latvian representatives have also chaired the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee (Mr Marģers Krams in 2005 and 2006) and the Working Party on state trading enterprises (2001, Ms Maija Manika).