Weekly economic review
Azerbaijani talks group on entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) left for Geneva to participate in the informal meeting with the working group on 21 June. The delegation is headed with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Deputy Chairman of the State Commission on Entering WTO, Mahmoud Mammadguliyev.
The work carried out by Azerbaijan after the fourth and last round of talks with the working group held on the 30th of March 2006, as well as the replies to the questions of the member-countries of WTO, will be considered during the meeting.
The talks group will hold bilateral talks with the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. In addition, the Azerbaijani delegation will discuss with its Indian counter part hastening the entering into WTO.
Azerbaijani Government has expanded the work on the unification of national legislation in accordance with the WTO requirements. The tasks on hastening the arrangements on entering WTO were put forward at the last meeting of the State Commission on the 6th of June.
The main points in the agenda of the meeting are informing of the activities carried out in accordance with the President's decree on implementation of national legislation and bringing it to international and European standards. Some 40 juridical regulations and decrees include changes in the Law on Currency Management, Law on Excise Rates, Law on Veterinary, Law on Health, Tax Code, regulations on assessment of products' value at customs units, definition of the products' origin country, new Laws on Technical Management and on Patent, and so on.
During the unification of legislation some problems related to insufficiency in staff aware of WTO requirements arise.
Azerbaijan has held four meetings with WTO. The first two were dedicated to discussing the foreign trade regime. Beginning from 2005, during the last two meetings the country proceeded to full-scale talks. The bilateral talks expressed the concern of access into Azerbaijani goods and services markets, the multilateral talks are related to the internal support for agriculture and export subsidies in this field.
The US and EU's position is to make a joining WTO country to fully undertake liabilities on custom tariffs.
Licensing, tariff policy, customs legislation, rights to intellectual property represent grate importance for Canada and the United States. The WTO countries wish to clear up how much of the tariff policy in Azerbaijan is liberal and transparent. In compliance with the WTO's requirements, a single regime for imported and local goods and services should be introduced in Azerbaijan.
The talks with Oman, Georgia, and Moldova have already been completed. They accepted Azerbaijan's proposals and are ready to sign protocols.
WTO countries wish to clarify how much tariff policy is liberal and transparent in Azerbaijan and whether it corresponds to contemporary requirements on introduction of a single regime for imported and local goods and services.
Azerbaijan in its turn is still eager to defend its position on entrance to the WTO with the status of a developing country. Turkey has voiced its readiness to assist Azerbaijan entrance to the WTO and signed a protocol with Azerbaijan to confirm its support in obtaining WTO membership. Unfortunately, Turkey is an only ally of Azerbaijan in this issue.