Uzbekistan renews WTO accession negotiations after long-year suspension
BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 8
Uzbekistan has presented an extended report on the status and prospects of its socio-economic development in the context of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Trend reports referring to the country’s Foreign Ministry.
The report was presented by the Uzbek delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov at the 4th meeting of the Working Party for Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO, which was held in Geneva on July 7, 2020, in the video conferencing format.
The Chairperson of the Working Party and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea at the WTO in Geneva Ji-ah Paik acquainted the participants with the steps undertaken by Uzbekistan for the accession and preparation of the necessary documents.
It was stressed that the renewal of this process is envisioned in the Strategy for the Further Development of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 and is one of the key areas of the country's foreign economic activity for its integration into the multilateral trading system.
WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolfe noted that one of the priority areas of the organization’s secretariat is to assist countries in their accession process and welcomed the decision of Uzbekistan to renew the process of accession to the WTO. On behalf of the organization’s leadership, he expressed readiness to provide all necessary support to the Uzbekistan's initiative.
Representatives of several other countries, regional and thematic groups also made statements on supporting Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO.
During the meeting, a discussion of the expanded Memorandum on the regime of foreign trade of Uzbekistan was held, during which the measures taken by the country to ensure compliance of the regulation in the sphere of foreign trade with the norms and standards recognized by the WTO member countries were noted.
Then the question and answer session was held.
In preparation for the 4th meeting of the Working Party for Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO, the organization’s secretariat has provided with a full package of necessary documents, including answers to more than 300 questions from member countries.
The package also included checklists of questions on the use of technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, on customs' assessment, completed questionnaire on the import licensing procedure, information on the trade aspects of intellectual property rights, as well as a plan to bring Uzbek national legislation in line with the norms of WTO agreements.
Following the meeting, agreements were reached on conducting bilateral negotiations on ensuring Uzbekistan's access to the WTO market of goods and services from July 20 to July 31 of the current year, as well as on moving to the next stage of negotiations on accession to the WTO, including preparation of a factual summary, which is the basis for the Report of the Working Party for the accession of Uzbekistan to the organization.