Azerbaijan determines preliminary list of WTO member-countries for bilateral talks in late July

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 20 / Trend I. Khalilova /

The Azerbaijani government plans to hold bilateral negotiations with WTO member-countries in Geneva on July 23-29, head of the negotiation group, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said.

"Azerbaijan has made a bid for negotiations," he said. "We specify the list of countries that have voiced their desire to participate in the negotiations."

The preliminary consent was obtained from Ecuador, Brazil. The talks can be held with Switzerland and the European Union.

"We also look forward to the consultations with the Chinese side," Mammadguliyev said.

He said that it is planned to hold the meeting in the WTO secretariat with the head of department for admitting new members into the organization.

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, Switzerland.

He said that the next meeting (IX round of multilateral negotiations) with the WTO working group and multilateral negotiations on agriculture will be held in autumn.

The last meeting with the working group 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 the Chinese Province of Taiwan and other WTO members on Oct. 19-22.

Azerbaijan has started negotiations since 2004.

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.

Along with this, Azerbaijan continues working to bring the national legal framework into line with WTO requirements, to improve 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.

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.

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