EU submits new inquiry to Azerbaijan under WTO membership
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 19 / Trend corr I. Khalilova /
The Azerbaijani government has received from the EU new questions on international trade regime under the country's entrance to the World Trade Organization (WTO), chief negotiator, deputy foreign minister, Mahmoud Mammadguliyev, said.
"The July meeting with the WTO working group [7th round of multilateral talks] urged the member-countries to submit their inquiries to the organization's secretariat by Sept. 14, Mammadguliyev said. So far, we have received questions from the EU, but we expect to receive [inquiry] from the U.S., Canada and other countries, as well."
Currently, inquiry of around 40 questions, which was received from the EU, is under consideration, Mammadguliyev said.
WTO participating states demand further liberalization of customs tariffs despite they do not exceed 15 percent in Azerbaijan. Our strategy is to prevent any damage on our economic development interests.
The Azerbaijani government in its proposals defined the tariffs mainly on the level of 30 percent and in some cases a bit higher. ['baume' tariffs proposed by Azerbaijan are offered for extraordinary cases with regard to defend local production].
Tariffs are major commitments in the negotiations between the EU and the U.S. They also demand liberalization of service sector. They also envisage opening markets in financial and communications fields and distributor service.
Azerbaijan is negotiating with the United States, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, and Taiwan Province of China. This year Switzerland will also included into the list. Gradually the list of these countries is increasing..
Azerbaijan has signed protocols with Turkey. Oman Sultanate, the United Arab Emirates. The country is in process of signing a protocol with Moldova, which is considering the document currently. Kyrgyzstan and Georgia have given their consent and the procedures are likely to take place in a next meeting of the intergovernmental commission.
Azerbaijan holds a status of observer at the WTO since 1997.
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