Uzbekistan joins CIS free trade zone
By Nazrin Gadimova
Moscow announced that Uzbekistan has joined the CIS free trade zone.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on ratification of free trade zone protocol on Uzbekistan.
The law was passed by the Russian's State Duma and approved by country's Federation Council in March, 2014. Meanwhile, it had been passed by the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (lower house of the Uzbek parliament), and the country's Senate in December, 2013.
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a law in late December, 2013.
The protocol is designed for more active involvement of Uzbekistan in CIS, as well as harmonizing trade regimes of the Customs Union members with Uzbekistan.
The agreement provides an appropriate ground for expanding mutual trade between the countries of the Customs Union and Uzbekistan. At the same time agreement provisions on the FTA apply to Uzbekistan in a number of terms.
Based on the law, until 31 December, 2020, or Uzbekistan's accession to the WTO, Uzbekistan and the contracting sides would be exempt from the obligation to provide national treatment in mutual trade. They should follow procedures for dispute resolution through bilateral negotiations.
Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Tajikistan signed the Free Trade Agreement of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CISFTA) on October 18, 2011.