Experts Divulge their Forecasts on Azerbaijan’s Joining WTO
Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr U. Ismayilova / Since 1997 Azerbaijan has been represented in the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an observer. So far Azerbaijan has held four meetings with WTO. The first two meetings were dedicated to foreign trade regime, and at the 3rd and 4th meetings Azerbaijan commenced full-scale negotiations. Bilateral negotiations cover access to Azerbaijani market of goods and services, and multilateral negotiations treat internal support to agriculture and export subsidies. Next round of talks is expected to take place in 2008.
Trend interviewed economic analysts on Azerbaijan's joining WTO:
A member of the Parliamentary Commission on Economic Policy, MP Vahid Ahmadov:
- In 2008 Azerbaijan will not join WTO. It is most likely to take place in 2009. If we fail to get a privileged period from WTO, which the organization gives to a country in order to enable it to comply with WTO principles, we should not hurry to join it. We still have lack of correspondence with WTO principles, mainly in the field of custom taxes and agriculture.
The head of the Economic Research Centre NGO Gubad Ibadoglu:
- Azerbaijan is unlikely to join WTO in 2008. Perhaps we will join the organization in 2010. 2008 will be probably for Azerbaijan the year of correspondence to WTO principles. The Parliament will have to accelerate work in this connection.
Ex-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, the head of the Foundation for Support to Development of Entrepreneurship and Market Economy Sabit Bagirov:
- 2008 will unlikely be the year of Azerbaijan's joining WTO. I do not see any facts which would enable me to forecast acceleration of the work on joining WTO.
A member of the Parliamentary Commission on Economic Policy, MP Ali Masimov:
- I support Azerbaijan's joining WTO. But the country has not yet completed all the work in this connection. One of the reasons of delay is the fact that the Government does not carry out proper work and does not have a common goal. Azerbaijan failed to enter the organization within 10 years, so 1 year is surely not enough. Despite all these problems, Azerbaijan may enter WTO in 2009.