What new WTO Negotiations Promise?

What new WTO Negotiations Promise?

The next 10th meeting of the working group on Azerbaijan’s membership in the World Trade Organization is held in Geneva on 3-7 December, 2012. The statement came from the news service for the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani delegation is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadquliyev.

Bilateral and multilateral talks with the United States, EU, Canada and Norway on new proposals of Azerbaijan about goods and services, support to agriculture and trade system are also planned as part of the session.

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 2020 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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