Turkmenistan on path of integration to WTO
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 5 / Trend H. Hasanov /
A working group has been created in order to study the issue of Turkmenistan's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Institute of Strategic Planning and Economic Development under Turkmen Ministry of Economy and Development reported.
The commission was established by a decree signed by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in January 2013. The commission will analyse issues such as the study of multilateral agreements on trade in goods which include the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), agreements on textiles and clothing, investment measures related to trade and on import licensing procedures.
Furthermore, agreement on safeguards, General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), agreement on trade related aspects of intellectual property rights, 'Understanding on rules and procedures for dispute resolution' and 'Trade Policy Review Mechanism' are under review.
The article said that during the study of these issues a working group will also consider the foreign trade regime and trade laws of Turkmenistan for their compliance with WTO multilateral trade agreements.
At this stage, the working group examined the procedure of accession to WTO. The procedure for accession to the WTO is multi-dimensional and defined in Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement 'On establishing the World Trade Organisation'.
The accession process takes about five to seven years on average. The first step is the filing of an application by a candidate on the country's intention to join the WTO Directorate-General. The country is then granted the status of observer.
Afterwards, the observer country provides a detailed memorandum of its trading methods which indicates the negotiation level of the customs tariff and tactics of gradual coordination of the existing rates with the limits, transition period, clear boundaries and a finite limit of openness to foreign service companies related to national security issues and the country's image (banking, airlines and telecommunications) and other measures. Having considered the memorandum, WTO members then send questions to the observer country regarding this document.