Azerbaijan to Hold Parallel Bilateral and Multilateral Negotiations with WTO
Azerbaijan, Baku, 18 March / Trend corr I. Khalilova/ Azerbaijan's Government is expecting the Secretariat of World Trade Organization (WTO) to fix the date for the 5th round of talks with the working group, Azerbaijan's Deputy Economic Development Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said. According to the Deputy Minister, the dates for multilateral and bilateral negotiations with the WTO member countries, which will take place in Geneva, may coincide. They are supposed to be held in April or May.
"Usually, when the Governmental delegation meets with the WTO working group, the time is enough both for multilateral and bilateral negotiations," Jabbarov said.
He did not rule out that protocols would be signed after the bilateral negotiations with two countries. Azerbaijan has completed the negotiations with Turkey, Georgia, Oman, Moldova and the United Arab Emirates, but the protocol has been signed only with Turkey. According to the Deputy Minister, Oman and the UAE have confirmed their readiness to sign a bilateral document, but the final decision is expected to be made by the Government only.
Presently, Azerbaijan is negotiating with the United States, European Union, South Korea, Japan and the Chinese Province of Taiwan. This year India and Norway have also joined the list.
"In case the next round of talks with WTO working group is delayed, we will coordinate the dates of the bilateral negotiations in the capital cities of these countries or in Azerbaijan," the Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev, head of the talks group, said previously.
So far, it has been impossible to do that, continuation of the talks requires updated variant of bound-tariffs, i.e. the proposals on the maximum volume of customs for entering Azerbaijan's market of goods and services, proposals on approximation of the legislation in accordance with the WTO requirements, on the access to the banking, insurance, telecommunications, and the energy market. These have already been submitted to the WTO Secretariat, Mammadguliyev stated.
Since 1997, Azerbaijan has been the observer at the WTO.
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