Deputy Minister: Bilateral negotiations on Azerbaijan's WTO membership is expected in July
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 25 / Trend, I.Isabalayeva /
Azerbaijani government expects the next meeting (IX round of multilateral negotiations) with the working group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in October-November, head of the negotiation group, Azerbaijani deputy foreign minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said today.
Earlier this round of negotiations was scheduled for December 2010.
"I believe that bilateral talks with countries - WTO members may be held in July, while the multilateral negotiations in the second half of the year," Mammadguliyev said.
The last meeting of Azerbaijan (VIII round of multilateral negotiations) with the working group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was held on Oct. 18, 2010 in Geneva, and bilateral meetings on goods and services were held with the U.S., Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and Chinese Province of Taiwan and other WTO members on Oct.19-22.
"There are still many unresolved issues regarding Azerbaijan's WTO membership. In particular, we should reach agreement on goods and services," he underscored.
Along with this, he stressed the importance of bringing the national legal framework into line with WTO requirements, improving the existing trade regime. About 40-50 legislative acts must comply with the organization's requirements, nearly 30 documents of which have been unified, and work in this direction will continue next year.
At present, Azerbaijan negotiates with 12 countries, while this list may be expanded.
Azerbaijan has started negotiations since 2004. The country is in the process of negotiations with the United States, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, 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 has agreed to sign it.
Last year, 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.