Azerbaijan can accelerate the process of accession to the World Trade Organization, but under certain conditions, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev told Trend.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event dedicated to the launch of the new institutional set-up of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative in Brussels.
“We need to join the WTO, and it was stated at a high political level that we consider it expedient to join this organization. But this requires time,” he said.
The deputy minister noted that Azerbaijan should now achieve good results in diversifying its economy.
“We now consider trade relations a priority. After achieving serious results of reforms in the economic sphere, I think we can speed up the accession process,” he said.
Mammadguliyev noted that Azerbaijan, most likely, will join the organization as a developing country.
“We are a developing country and we need time to become a developed country. We are acting in accordance with documents, WTO agreements, and I think we will enter as a developing country. There are WTO documents that enable us to achieve what is needed, particularly, the issue is the support to the agriculture,” the deputy minister said.
Azerbaijan launched negotiations with the WTO member states in 2004. Azerbaijan submitted to the organization 400 documents, including 300 legislative acts, and also answered more than 2,000 questions of WTO member countries.
As of today, the country has completed negotiations and signed protocols with Turkey, Oman, the UAE, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Azerbaijan is at the stage of signing protocols with China and Moldova. Presently, the country is in talks with 13 countries.
Azerbaijan has had an observer status at the WTO since 1997.