Talks on Azerbaijan’s WTO accession start in Geneva

Business Materials 19 July 2016 15:32 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 19

By Azad Hasanli – Trend:

Another round of talks on Azerbaijan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) started in Geneva, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend July 19.

According to the ministry, at the negotiations the Azerbaijani delegation is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev.

Earlier, in an interview with Trend, Chidu Osakwe, director of the WTO office of accession, said the changes taking place in the Azerbaijani economy, the ongoing reforms, in particular in agriculture, will be discussed at the meeting.

Osakwe said meetings are planned to be held between representatives of Azerbaijan and the WTO member states, and the Azerbaijani side will respond to the questions submitted at a meeting in 2015.

He said the meeting participants will inquire into Azerbaijan’s ability to support the economy given low oil prices and whether Baku has an economic development strategic plan in such a situation.

To date, Norway, Russia and Saudi Arabia have expressed intention to hold bilateral talks with Azerbaijan on the issue, but it is not ruled out that the number of such countries will increase, Mammad-Guliyev told Trend earlier.

Azerbaijan has had an observer status at the WTO since 1997. A working party on Azerbaijan was established on July 16, 1997, at the organization.

Azerbaijan began negotiations with WTO member states in 2004. Currently, the country negotiates with 19 countries.

As of today, Azerbaijan has completed the negotiations and has signed protocols with Turkey, Oman, the UAE, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

The country is at the stage of signing protocols with China and Moldova.