Next WTO Accession Negotiations; No Results?

Next WTO Accession Negotiations; No Results?

Azerbaijani Delegation on WTO Accession attended in the next working group meeting, as well as in bilateral meetings on goods and services in the framework of the IX round of multilateral talks on Azerbaijan’s membership in the WTO on February 23-24th, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that bilateral negotiations with the U.S., EU, Norway, Canada, Ecuador and Japan conduced in Geneva.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that admission to the organization as a developing country is favorable for Azerbaijan. If we can get this status, we will be able to get some privileges. Talks are under way on this; some countries agree, while others do not.  ”The second issue is of course the improvement of legislation to meet WTO standards. We have got an action plan. Some of it has already been fulfilled. There are 40-50 documents, 30 of which have been approved in accordance with the organization’s requirements”.

The Ministry has declared that, the issue on privileges, which the county will gain on “yellow” basket of inner subsidizing, becomes important. Referring itself to developing countries, Azerbaijan is claiming for level of subsidies not less than 10% of goods cost of agriculture production.

“No tangible outputs produced in negotiations on Azerbaijani Accession to WTO.  There is no positive signal from previous meeting about when Azerbaijan can access to the WTO. There is still dispute on tariffs, services, plans on amendments in legislation, subsidizing of agriculture between Azerbaijan and member countries”-  Vugar Bayramov said; “No agreement reached in talks with USA, EU, Canada, and Australia, yet. The main requirements are related to tariffs, amendments to legislation and their harmonization with the WTO requirements”.

Vugar Bayramov mentioned that last un-resulted negotiations show that Azerbaijan’s admission to the WTO before 2014 is not real.

Vugar Bayramov mentioned that WTO membership, and the huge boost it would imply for liberalization in Azerbaijan, is not an option unless the relevant government agencies decide it is serious about this reform. But as long as the oil price remains high there is no incentive. There is another concern related to reducing the monopoly power in foreign trade.  That’ is why although Azerbaijan’s accession to the WTO has more benefit to the country although no any significant steps taken related to the admission process.

It is mentioned that Azerbaijan is in bilateral talks with 12 countries on its WTO.

Azerbaijan holds bilateral negotiations with the United States, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, Taiwan Province of China, Canada and Switzerland for today.

Since 1997, Azerbaijan has observer status at WTO.

© CESD, 2012


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