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24 Jan 2017

Belarus set to join WTO, de facto lives by WTO standards

MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – Belarus already de facto lives in accordance with standards of the World Trade Organization to a considerable extent. Belarus is also intent on securing WTO membership in order to take advantage of all the progressive mechanisms of the organization. The statement was made by Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Yeudachenka during the session of the working group on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization in Geneva on 24 January, BelTA has learned.

Over 40 WTO member states took part in the event. The Belarusian delegation presented information about the country’s economic policy and its foreign trade regulations. The steps taken to make sure the national economy operates in line with WTO standards according to the instructions the Belarus president gave in 2016 were put into the spotlight.

Representatives of the WTO member states underlined their strategic interest in Belarus’ joining the organization. They expressed satisfaction with the quality of the documents the Belarusian delegation presented and the verbal answers that were given. In their opinion, it demonstrates the seriousness and the profound nature of the work that has been done. It also demonstrates that Belarus has the political will to join the organization. Representatives of the WTO member states said they hoped their remarks and questions would be effectively taken into account by the Belarusian government and the formalization of Belarus’ multilateral commitments would be finished within a short period.

Andrei Yeudachenka stated that efforts to join the WTO represent a lot of intrastate work. The work requires a balanced approach that will secure the development of the national economy and the preservation of the social stability. It was noted that the Belarusian market should be opened when conditions are ripe for it and on the terms that will allow Belarus to gradually prepare for the new reality.

A discussion took place as part of the session of the working group. The voiced remarks and questions will be incorporated into the Belarusian government’s future work aimed at reforming the economic legislation and mechanisms.

The most important outcome of the event was the approval of future steps in negotiations on Belarus’ accession to the WTO. As one of the steps the working group is expected to prepare its draft report for the next meeting.

The next session of the working group on Belarus’ accession to the WTO is expected to take place in H2 2017.

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6th Belarusian People's Congress