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Azerbaijan's not ready to WTO

2012-07-17 18:30

After the collapse of the USSR, all former Soviet republics have turned to the West. Integration processes in the military and political structures, as well as in economic organizations have started. To date, most of the former Soviet Union countries have joined the WTO. However, Azerbaijan, like Russia, is still not a member of the World Trade Organization. Why the country doesn't hasten to become WTO member? GTimes reporter spoke about this with Azerbaijani expert Sultan Agayev.

Azerbaijan's not ready to WTO. 27681.jpeg

The West seemed to the former Soviet republics a bright star beyond the reach, they wanted touch so much. And as soon as they have got a chance not only to touch it, but also to feel part of the Western world, most of the republics plunged without hesitation into this world, forgetting that not all that glisters is gold. That's Sultan Agayev's view.

Azerbaijan was one of the first countries in the former Soviet Union, which had started negotiations on the WTO accession. In 1997, the country received the observer status. But immediately after that the pace of integration into the WTO declined. The real talks began only in 2004.

To date, Azerbaijan holds bilateral talks with the United States, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, Taiwan Province of China, Canada and Switzerland. The talks are already completed, and the protocols with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates and Georgia are signed. The country is in the process of signing the protocol with Moldova, which is still considering the document, while Kyrgyzstan has agreed to sign.

Azerbaijan is work on bringing the national legal base into line with WTO requirements, improving the current trade regime. Up to 40-50 legislation acts must comply with the requirements of the organization, about 30 of which have already been standardized. But even in this regard we can say that Azerbaijan doesn't hasten to join the WTO. So what is the reason for this delay on the part of Baku?

According to Sultan Agayev, it is connected to the fact that the economy of those countries that had quickly joined the WTO without preparation, they have experienced a dramatic shock.

An example is Kyrgyzstan which one of the first post-Soviet republics joined the World Trade Organization in 1998. Unfortunately, it did not help to achieve serious progress in the economy development. Today, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most distressed among all post-Soviet countries. It has undergone several "orange" revolutions, its economy is in a dependent position, and exports almost equals zero, the expert says.

Azerbaijan adheres to a pragmatic position, Sultan Agayev says. He cites the example of South Korea, or the same United States of America. These countries have joined the organization having had highly developed economy. The negative impact on their economic situation from the outside was almost reduced to zero. On the contrary, having the developed economies, they have a huge export capital, which ultimately contributed to the further development of these countries.

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