The General Council of the World Trade Organization has approved of adopting Ukraine as a WTO member at its session in Geneva on Tuesday.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, in particular, Chilean Ambassador Mario Matus, who chairs the WTO General Council session and was also the chairman of the working group on the Ukraine`s WTO accession, put for voting the decision on approving the report of the working group and the draft protocol on Ukraine’s accession to WTO.

The WTO General Council supported these decisions, after which M.Matus congratulated President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko, who was present at the session.

The Ambassador pointed out that the ceremonial signing of the protocol on Ukraine’s accession to WTO is scheduled for 17.15 by Kyiv time. He recalled that the process of Ukraine’s joining WTO began as early as in 1993. He thanked Victor Yushchenko for speeding up this process.

M.Matus also noted that Ukraine is an example for other countries as a country, following the way of liberalization of its economics, in particular, in the sphere of agriculture.

According to DPA, WTO membership is expected to place under pressure Ukrainian consumer good and agricultural sectors, as both industries currently protected are protected from foreign competition as a matter of long- term government policy.

Ukrainian consumers are likely to see a 10- to 40-per cent reduction in the prices of automobiles, household appliances, and foodstuffs once current excise barriers to foreign imports are done away with, Sehodnia newspaper reported.

WTO member nations likewise can expect to see increased competition from Ukraine exports particularly metals, chemicals, and agricultural commodities, according to the article.

Some excise taxes on Ukrainian goods will per the treaty terms continue to apply for a two to five years. Goods including sunflower seeds, scrap metal, and animal skins will face continued substantial duties if sent from Ukraine to the European Union during the transition period, according to the terms of the agreement.

The most-taxed Ukrainian exports will be sunflower seeds and sugar, which other WTO members will be able to tax at 30 and 50 per cent of value, Korrespondent magazine reported.

The former Soviet republic will become a full-fledged WTO member one month after its parliament ratifies the treaty.