Next round of negotiations on Azerbaijan’s accession to WTO postponed to 2015
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.14
By Ilaha Mamedli - Trend:
Secretariat of the World Trade Organization has moved the dates of the multilateral and bilateral negotiations on the accession of Azerbaijan to the organization into the first quarter of 2015, the Chief Negotiator, the Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev told Trend.
A meeting with the WTO working group was to be held roughly in late November - early December 2014.
"Terms of the transfer of the regular round of negotiations are due to a busy schedule at the Secretariat of the World Organization by the end of the year, which can also be attributed to the expected accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO [planned before the end of 2014]," said the deputy minister.
The meeting with the working group, bilateral negotiations with member countries of the WTO and multilateral negotiations on domestic support for agriculture will be held in February 2015, according to the preliminary data, said Mammadguliyev.
Secretariat of the organization has prepared a Factual Summary report on the basis of answers to questions of WTO member countries submitted to the Azerbaijani side since the last meeting.
The last meeting of the working group was held in June 2014 in Geneva. However, bilateral negotiations on goods and services have been held twice this year - in February [alongside multilateral negotiations on agriculture] and in June.
Four new countries - Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the Dominican Republic and Honduras joined the negotiating process, which took place in late June. An exchange was held among three of the countries, however, Saudi Arabia was represented in expanded format at the talks and has already started to ask specific questions.
In total, the bilateral talks were held with 12 states last summer.
Azerbaijan has also submitted a new table with the changes in the agricultural sector of the country for the last three years (2011-2013) to the WTO Secretariat for multilateral negotiations on issues of domestic support for agriculture.
Azerbaijan has had an observer status at the WTO since 1997. A working group on Azerbaijan was established at the WTO Secretariat on July 16, 1997.
Azerbaijan started negotiations with the WTO member countries in 2004. Currently, the country is negotiating with 18 countries.
Negotiations are now completed, and the protocols 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 China and Moldova.