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Azerbaijan prepares to hold bilateral negotiations on services in WTO

Business Materials 30 June 2010 16:55

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 30 / Trend I.Khalilova /

The Azerbaijani government prepares to hold bilateral talks in July on services in the framework of the country's joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of the negotiating group Mahmud Mammadguliyev said

"The talks will be held with the European Union, India and several other countries on the proposals of the Azerbaijani side on services. The country may hold talks on  goods after submission of proposals to the WTO Secretariat, which is expected in the short period," he added.

Tariff commitments are also main in the process of bilateral negotiations between the EU and the U.S. Besides the tariff policy, their claims were related to the liberalization of services on intellectual property. They suggest opening up markets in the financial, communication sector, a distribution service, the distribution area.

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.

Gradually the list of countries offering Azerbaijan to lower baum tariffs, expands, so it is still too early to speak about the completion of the talks, with some of the negotiating countries.

Azerbaijan is in the process of negotiations with the United States, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, and Chinese Province of Taiwan. In 2009, Switzerland joined this list.

At present, negotiations are completed. The protocols were signed with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates, Georgia. The country is at the stage of signing the protocol with Moldova, which still considers the document. But Kyrgyzstan and Georgia have agreed to sign it.

Recently, the WTO secretariat has expanded the working group on Azerbaijan by including four more countries - Ukraine, Brazil, Ecuador and Switzerland. As a result, the total number of members of the working group reached 32, including 27 EU countries.

A working group on Azerbaijan under the WTO was established July 16, 1997.

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

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