Central Asian countries to benefit from WTO membership only through joint participation

Central Asian countries to benefit from WTO membership only through joint participation

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 22 / Trend /

Ellada Khankishiyeva, Trend analytical centre head

This year, the Central Asian countries will join the ranks of members of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Thus, Tajikistan received approval from the WTO on December 10, 2012, and will become a full member of the organization by June 7, 2013. Tajikistan took 11 years to become a WTO member.

Last week, Kazakhstan received an encouraging message from the WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, expressing the possibility of Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO this year. According to Lamy, Kazakhstan is at a fairly advanced stage of membership negotiations. Kazakhstan is a country that has been exhibiting maximum initiative to join the WTO for over 17 years.

Turkmenistan will also start negotiations for accession to the WTO this year, although previously it had no interest in the organization. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stated the need to study the issue of Turkmen accession to the WTO at a Cabinet meeting last week. In this regard, Berdimuhamedov ordered the preparation of a proposal for the establishment of a special government commission and the start of negotiations with the heads of the WTO.

Uzbekistan acquired observer status in 2001.

Among all Central Asian countries only Kyrgyzstan is a WTO member and has been since December 20, 1998. Considering that the negotiation process began in 1996, one can say that the country has broken the world record for the shortest time period for entry into the organization.

The entry of new Central Asian countries to the WTO will increase the region's share of global trade, stimulate investment projects and have a positive impact on the economic development of the region as a whole. It should also be noted that the positive effects underlying the concept of the WTO appear only when the national economy has an optimal level of preparedness for the new conditions of trade. If not, the benefits of joining the WTO will be possible only in the long run, whereas, in the short term, the country is to deal with losses only.

Following the sad example of neighboring Kyrgyzstan, which headlong joined the organization in the most unfavorable conditions, other Central Asian countries have become more cautious. It is known that in the process of negotiations with the WTO, Kyrgyzstan didn't even ask about receiving developing country status, and in addition, displayed maximum compliance with general obligations in law-making areas, and concerning the rates, was ahead of all countries in terms of commitment to liberalism.

In the end, the entry of Kyrgyzstan to the WTO didn't usher in the expected results. The wide open "door" for imported goods prevented investors from entering the Kyrgyz market. Trade with major neighboring partners (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan), who are non-WTO members, encountered discriminatory measures. Recall that in response to Kyrgyzstan's accession to the WTO, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan introduced discriminatory measures against imports from Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan set a 200-percent duty on Kyrgyz food exports and explained these actions as an attempt to prevent the filling of its market by imports from Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan still occasionally impose increased customs duties on imports of various goods from Kyrgyzstan. These discriminatory measures against Kyrgyzstan will apply as long as its neighbors don't accede to the WTO.

If the aforementioned measures were taken towards Kyrgyzstan by WTO member countries, the latter would thereby have violated its obligations under WTO agreements and Kyrgyzstan would be able to challenge such actions in the WTO. Thus, the obvious conclusion is that WTO membership provides real benefits only when major trading partners are also members of the WTO.

Therefore, the entry of other Central Asian countries to the WTO will relieve current tensions in regional trade and economic relations and commercial interests will be protected through international mechanisms. For example, with the entry of Russia last year (and Kazakhstan in the future), WTO members will account for nearly 90 percent of Kyrgyzstan's foreign trade turnover. The same goes for Tajikistan, three of the four major trading partners of which, excluding Kazakhstan, are already members of the WTO (Russia, China, and Turkey).

China, an active player in the WTO, supports the accession of neighboring countries into the trading organization, as there is an ongoing process of practical implementation of large and strategically important joint economic projects between China and the Central Asian countries. Thus, the value of Kyrgyzstan as a transshipment base for Chinese consumer goods especially increased when the two countries became members of the WTO. This was followed by Chinese products entering Kyrgyzstan in the progressive scale and virtually unhindered. Upon entering the WTO, Russia also played a role in supporting Central Asian countries in their involvement in global trade, especially given that Russia is also connected to those countries through regional trade organizations.

WTO membership for the countries of Central Asia is attractive in terms of participation in transit projects as well, due to the region's prime location between Russia, China, Iran and the Caucasus. Recall that membership in the WTO provides guaranteed transit through the territory of all other WTO members. Regional investment projects will also be given impetus to. But again it should be noted that the Central Asian countries will benefit from these privileges of the WTO only through joint participation in the organization, otherwise the region will become futile in the global economic system.

Uzbekistan taking measures to develop religious tourism
Uzbekistan taking measures to develop religious tourism
Azerbaijani Association of Travel Agencies and Association of Travel Bloggers sign agreement of understanding (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Association of Travel Agencies and Association of Travel Bloggers sign agreement of understanding (PHOTO)
Experts make forecasts for Georgia's post-COVID tourism industry recovery
Experts make forecasts for Georgia's post-COVID tourism industry recovery
Loading Bars
Biden says it's a 'big mistake' for states to lift mask mandates
Covid protection measures vital due to unpredictability of its mutations — WHO
Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 3.91 mln
CoronaVac efficacy above 83% after Phase 3 trials in Turkey
Karaganda region to build mega sheep farm
Iran exports over 1.4mn tons of round bar in 10 months
Georgia reaches preliminary agreement with Novavax
Bitcoin rises by over 10% surpassing $52,000
One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Romania
Czech Republic reports record breaking number of people hospitalized with COVID-19
WHO doesn’t recommend introducing Covid passports for now
Azerbaijan holds command training of troops of Nakhchivan garrison (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan reconstructs houses damaged during Second Karabakh War – Trend TV
Iran preparing for possible travel restrictions for Nowruz holiday
Iran's Health Minister expresses concern over spread of UK Coronavirus variant across country
Iran plans to release held up commodities from customs
Metallurgical production may increase in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's foreign trade balance with Israel remains positive in Jan. 2021
Venezuela always supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity - Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss areas of military cooperation (VIDEO)
Bio-smart pavilion ready for integration with Smart City project network - Azerbaijan Innovation Agency
Georgia makes rapid progress on its commitments under Energy Community - Green for Growth Fund
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee develops new portal for visualizing customs statistics
'Uzbekistan GTL' plant receives fuel gas for first time
All deals with corporate securities in Azerbaijan fell on secondary market - BSE
Most transactions on state securities in Azerbaijan accounts for primary market
Azerbaijan plans to expand geography of wine export
U.S. private payrolls rise less than expected in February
Prosecutor's Office talks details of mine explosion accident in Aghdam
Loan portfolio of trade and services sector increases in Azerbaijan
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to rise in Iran
Azerbaijan announces net foreign assets of commercial banks for January
Croatian 'green energy' companies could contribute to dev't of Azerbaijani liberated lands
President Aliyev receives in video format delegation led by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan (PHOTO)
Next equipment from India will be brought to Iran’s Chabahar port
Silk Way Technics company has been keeping aircraft flying safely for 15 years
Turkmenistan has potential to benefit from future co-op with EU
Uzbek currency rates for March 4
Azerbaijani, Italian FMs discuss prospects for comprehensive development of relations
Iran plans to increase mushroom production and exports
Growth of trade turnover observed between Turkey and Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's experience of implementing 'smart' projects to be presented in Belarus
PayPal in talks to buy Israeli co Curv
Kazakhstan expects recovery of business activity in 1Q2021
Chief of Azerbaijani Aghdam's Irrigation Department heavily injured in mine explosion (PHOTO)
OPEC+ considers oil output roll over for April
Azerbaijani police officers find air defense systems left by Armenians in Fuzuli (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Home Credit and Finance Bank may face additional asset quality pressure
Iran's exports to Turkmenistan via railways increase
Turkish revenues from export of defense-related products grow
Turkey increases steel exports to Azerbaijan since early 2021
Turkey plans to increase trade turnover volume with Georgia
Hungarian Globalia Kft to support solar park creation in Kazakhstan
Significant number of people receive unemployment benefits in Georgia
Turkey attaches importance to Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral format of co-op - FM
Uzbek-Chinese JV to buy gas piston power station via tender
Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank to continue to improve digital products
Fruits and vegetables make up majority of Azerbaijan's export of non-oil products since early 2021
EU to promote local entrepreneurship in Georgian Adjara
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Number of apartment transactions down in Georgia's Tbilisi - Colliers International
Major Azerbaijani state companies' revenues from non-oil products' export up in Jan.2021
Belarusian Belavia Airlines extends suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
Sales of Iranian mining companies soar
Moody's unveils current account balance in Azerbaijan's GDP for 2021
Uzbekistan’s economic activity index drops significantly
French Senate interested in strengthening bilateral co-op with Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan enters list of world’s largest cotton producers
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 3
Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor allows imports of apples, tomatoes from some Azerbaijani enterprises
Bosnian journalist talks parallel between genocides in Srebrenica and Azerbaijani Khojaly
Azerbaijan confirms 161 more COVID-19 recoveries
Approving FATF related bills in Iran's interest - Iranian President
No Mystery, Top American Pandemic Expert Lists 9 Govt Actions Behind Plummeting Covid Cases in India
Georgian VTB Bank to maintain adequate capitalization with RAC - S&P Global Ratings
Union of OIC News Agencies and ICD through THIQAH sign MoC to enhance cooperation in media field
Azerbaijan shares data on 2020 int'l cargo transportation by rail
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for equipment repair
Georgian citizens can enter Turkey only if they have negative PCR test
Demand for notes of Azerbaijan's Central Bank surpasses supply
Moody’s says Azerbaijan’s economy to grow in 2021
Over 14 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in India: Government
India's women scientists breaking barriers in space exploration
Number of Mastercard products and operations increases in Azerbaijan
Crucial lessons to be learnt from Covid-19 outbreak
India's oil demand set to hit record high as recovery from Covid sets in
UK To Receive 10 Million AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Doses From India: Report
Iran expects the US to take serious steps toward JCPOA
Biden appoints Indian-American Maju Varghese as Director of White House Military Office
India to invest $82 billion in port projects by 2035: PM Modi
Zarif announces mechanism of returning Iran's funds blocked in S.Korea
Indian Air Force arrives for participation in 70th SLAF Anniversary
Former Nepal PM thanks India for COVID-19 vaccines
India to deliver 1,000 metric tonnes rice, 1 lakh HCQ tablets to drought-hit Madagascar
Kazakhstan boosts locally-made goods export to Belgium
Development Bank of Kazakhstan expands support for renewable energy projects
Iran shares data on loaded and unloaded cargo at Noshahr port
Iran's Bandar Abbas Company attaches importance to domestic production of spare parts
Uzbekistan approves introduction of gender-responsive regulatory impact assessment system
Parliamentarians in some countries put their interests above ensuring peace - Azerbaijan's MFA
All news