TODAY.AZ / Business

Azerbaijan moves on WTO accession talks

23 June 2005 [08:42] - TODAY.AZ
Azerbaijan is about to enter a very important stage of multilateral talks with the World Trade Organization (WTO), to discuss the future state of the agricultural sector and hold separate consultations over proposals by the Azerbaijani side on relevant tariffs.
Following the announcement, deputy foreign minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev told media that a “series of governments have approached Azerbaijan to start direct talks over tariffs charged on negotiable goods and services.” “Yet we have received such proposals from Latin American countries. However, I think there will be corresponding offers from more serious countries too,” he said.

For his part, Minister for Economic Development, Farhad Aliyev hinted at a next round of WTO accession talks between the task forces of Azerbaijan and the Organization, in Geneva, on June 30.

“It is possible to say that we have been fully prepared for these talks,” said Aliyev, who also chairs the state commission on WTO accession talks.

The Azerbaijani delegation [in charge of the talks], to be headed by Mahmud Mammadguliyev, will also include experts from the Ministries of Economic Development, Agriculture and Justice, as well the State Customs Committee, Agency for Standardization and Meteorology, etc.

As to tariffs on goods and services, Aliyev said that the Government of Azerbaijan must set a high rate, “because still we cannot compete with products made in industrialized countries.” “Azerbaijan can also ask for a certain favorable period. If WTO accepts our high tariffs, we will be given a break, which is required to prevent the domestic market from the influx of foreign goods and, at the same time, set proper conditions to promote domestic production. Otherwise, we will be forced to regulate imports through non-tariff methods – a very difficult task for a rapidly growing economy,” Aliyev explained.


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