Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19
By Abbas Akhundov -Trend:
One of the key steps in the efforts of the Azerbaijani Government for carrying out economic reform, may become the country's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar said, speaking at a meeting with member companies of the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC) on Dec.19.
The meeting was devoted to the topic 'Consideration of the possible expansion of US-Azerbaijani relations, as well as expansion of activities of American companies in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani companies in the United States'.
"The U.S. supports the efforts of Azerbaijan on accession to the organisation," the ambassador said.
As the diplomat said, despite government efforts, there are still obstacles in this direction and in order to overcome them, Washington recommends Azerbaijan continues its work on simplifying bureaucratic procedures, improving the efficiency of government agencies activities, transparency of the economy, as well as opportunities for development of small and medium businesses.
Morningstar stressed that in recent years, Azerbaijan has made impressive strides.
"To continue this success, a major challenge for Azerbaijan is to develop the human factor. Azerbaijani population is young and very talented. The education system that is being reformed now should create conditions for using these talents," the ambassador said.
Azerbaijan started negotiations in 2004.
The negotiations have been completed and protocols were signed with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The country is at the stage of signing the protocol with Moldova, which still considers the document.
The working group on Azerbaijan at the WTO Secretariat was established on 16 July 1997.
Since 1997, Azerbaijan has been represented at the World Trade Organization as an observer.
Translated by M.L.
Edited by S.M.