The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry announced on July 19th the beginning of another round of talks on Azerbaijan’s accession into the World Trade Organization.
The delegation is to be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Mahmud Mammad – Quliyev.
In an interview with
, director of the WTO office on accession, Chiedu Osakwe, stated that current changes and patterns in the Azerbaijani economy, in addition to new reforms on agriculture, are to be discussed at the meeting.
It is not easy to predict when Azerbaijan will become a member of the WTO. Kazakhstan’s process of acceding to the WTO took 19 years, while Russia’s took 18, Osakwe said.
At the meeting, members of the Azerbaijani delegation will respond to questions pertaining to the country’s ability to maintain the economy during a period of such low prices for oil.
Crude oil as of the 20th of June was $46.85 per barrel.
Mammad – Quliyev told journalists that to date, three countries – Russia, Saudi Arabia and Norway – have shown interest in bilateral negotiations with Azerbaijan. The deputy minister mentioned that this list has the potential to grow.
Azerbaijan has had observer status in the WTO since 1997, when a working group on Azerbaijan under the secretariat of WTO was created. Direct negotiations for Azerbaijan’s accession began in 2004.
The country has already completed negotiations with Turkey, Oman, the UAE, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Azerbaijan is currently signing protocol agreements with China and Moldova, in addition to negotiating agreements with 19 other countries.