Azerbaijan-WTO talks to continue in February 2014
By Nigar Orujova
The next round of negotiations on Azerbaijan's joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in the second half of February, 2014.
Chief Negotiator and Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said the negotiations will start from February 16 and last for a week.
The meeting with the WTO's working group was scheduled for late October-early November this year, but has been postponed due to the organization's busyness with countries that are in the very last stage of accession to the WTO.
"Everything is prepared from our side. All documents that were necessary to submit are already in the WTO secretariat," Mammadguliyev said earlier.
The Azerbaijani side has sent the answers to all questions that were addressed to the country following the previous working meeting, held in Geneva in early June, as well as tables related to multilateral negotiations on agriculture.
Azerbaijan's accession to the WTO is expected to help increase the country's non-oil exports.
Azerbaijan has been in talks with WTO since 2004 to join the organization.
Talks are also being held at bilateral and multi-lateral levels with WTO member states. Work is underway to bring Azerbaijani laws in line with WTO regulations.
The number of WTO member states seeking to start bilateral talks with Azerbaijan is growing.
At present, Azerbaijan is in the process of bilateral negotiations with the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, Taiwan Province of China, Canada, Switzerland and Honduras.
Negotiations have been completed and protocols signed with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
Azerbaijan now is at the stage of signing the protocol with Moldova.