Azerbaijan Expects Holding of Next Round of Talks with WTO by End of 2008

Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 May / corr. Trend I. Khalilova/ The Azerbaijani government hopes that that the next (six) round of talks with the working group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held by the end of 2008, Mahmud Mammadguliyev, the head of the negotiation group and deputy foreign minister of Azerbaijan said on 14 April.

It is important to submit new proposals on goods and services and to complete the realization of plan of changes to the Azerbaijani legislation. According to the presidential decree, the unification of normative legal acts in line with European standards should be completed by the end of 2007.

"During the fifth round of talks we informed WTO member stated on the postponing talks till the end of 2008," said Mammadguliyev. But if this date is changed once again, it can affect the talks, he said. [Fifth round of the talks between the Azerbaijani government and WTO was held in Geneva on 6 May].

According to the deputy minister, some 30 documents have been developed from the 40 new legislative acts and changes to the current normative legal acts. Some of them have already been approved by the parliament.

"In general, the WTO member states pointed out progress in Azerbaijan's preparations to this Organization," said the head of the working group.

Azerbaijan has held five meetings with WTO up to now. First two meetings were held on subject of foreign trade regime, but the country began large-scale talks in the last three meetings from 2005. The bilateral talks are held on access of goods and services to the Azerbaijani market, multi-sided and domestic support for agriculture and export subsidies in this field.

Azerbaijan has a status of observer in WTO since 1997.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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