Ministers to specify positions within CIS common free trade zone agreement

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 22 /Trend I. Khalilova/

CIS countries are continuing to assert their positions within the free trade zone project.

The next meeting for economy ministers is expected to be held in Moscow in late June, the government said.

"Ministers must negotiate controversial issues in the contract," the source said. "Afterward, the document will be presented for discussion to the Economic Council in Moscow on June 28."

The government thinks that the draft treaty in its present form does not improve the previous document, so the Azerbaijani side is continuing to assert its position.

"Today, Azerbaijan has reserved the position until the consensus on all issues is reached within the discussions of the draft treaty," the source said.

The draft document had been developed by the Russian Economic Development Ministry and submitted for consideration to the CIS Executive Committee at the end of 2008.

Since then, a special working group has held a series of negotiations examining and taking into account the proposals and remarks of concerned states.

This February, a working group took the decision to consider the text of the draft agreement's and several attachments' articles.
The draft document, specified in accordance with the submitted proposals, was approved at a meeting of the CIS Economic Council's Committee for Economic Issues in March 2011.

The drafted document envisions the formation of common agreement basis meeting modern requirements, with the purpose of full-scale liberalization of trade within the CIS area.

The draft free trade agreement, after it is approved by the Economic Council, is to be submitted for consideration to the next meeting of the CIS Council of heads of states.
At a meeting of the Economic Council in Yalta, Ukraine on April 15, the participants focused at the issue of the free trade zone draft agreement that was submitted to finalization.

In accordance with the existing FTZ bilateral agreements, the structure of Azerbaijan's export is practically free of any withdrawal except for the two items - tobacco and denatured alcohol - with Russia and Kazakhstan. In this connection, the Government of Azerbaijan still prefers assessing the FTZ Agreement preparation situation as a
detached onlooker.

Azerbaijan is interested in transit issues to increase the volume of its goods turnover in the near future.

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