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Azerbaijan hopes for holding eighth round of talks with WTO member countries in July

Business Materials 8 June 2010 12:56
Holding regular meeting (the 8th round of multilateral talks) with he World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries is possibly in July, head of the negotiating group, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said June 7.

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 7 / Trend, I.Khalilova /

Holding regular meeting (the 8th round of multilateral talks) with he World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries is possibly in July, head of the negotiating group, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said June 7.

"Fixing of date of the next round of talks depends on the submission of proposals on goods by the Azerbaijani side for bilateral negotiations, and proposals on services have already been sent to the WTO secretariat", Mammadguliyev said.
According to him, the bilateral talks may be held with 10 countries, which will depend on the interest shown by the WTO member countries.
The Governmental Commission on preparations to join the WTO prepared proposals in the service sector for the U.S., EU, Japan and South Korea.
The February meeting of the Governmental Commission of Azerbaijan considered state of bilateral and multilateral talks, the need for improvement "Bound" tariffs on certain agricultural and fish products.

After the July [in 2009] meeting with the WTO Working Group [the sixth round of multilateral talks], along with U.S. and EU, questions and comments from Australia, concerning the schedule of domestic support and export subsidies which will be used by Azerbaijan, from Brazil - on tariffs, South Korea - both on tariffs and on services have been received.

Azerbaijan is achieving entry into the WTO with the status of a developing country, which will allow the country to provide greater financial support to the agricultural sector, as in this case, the country will be able to keep funding at the level of 10 percent of GDP produced in agriculture.

At present, subsidies to the agricultural sector of Azerbaijan make on average 14-15 percent. Given the great need for the country's agricultural support, Azerbaijan refuses to join the WTO as a developed country, especially on what the U.S. insist, as it will get access to subsidies at the level of five percent.

Restrictions imposed on subsidies that affect the regulation of prices of agricultural products, and unlimited support can be provided for the reclamation and scientific and technical works.

During the previous talks on international trade regime, some countries proposed to reduce customs tariffs, setting them below 15 percent, which today are the maximum rate of customs duty in Azerbaijan. The proposals by the Azerbaijani Government, mostly customs duties estimated at 30 percent, but there are also higher. ["Bound" rates offered by Azerbaijan are envisaged on unexpected contingencies in order to protect local production].

Tariff commitments are also key in the process of bilateral talks with the EU and the U.S.. In addition to the tariff policy, their requirements also include to the liberalization of services on intellectual property. They offer opening markets in the financial, communications sector, in the sphere of distributor service, the distribution area.

At present, Azerbaijan holds talks with the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, and Taiwan Province of China. In 2009, Switzerland was also included in this list.
At present, negotiations have completed and protocols with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates, Georgia have been signed. The country is on the stage of signing the protocol with Moldova, which still considers the document, and Kyrgyzystan has already agreed to sign.
Recently, the WTO Secretariat has expanded the composition of working group on Azerbaijan including four more countries - Ukraine, Brazil, Ecuador and Switzerland in it. As a result, the total number of members of the working group reached 32, including 27 EU countries.

Since 1997, Azerbaijan has been presented at the World Trade Organization as an observer.

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