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19 Jan 2017

Geneva to host talks on Belarus’ accession to WTO next week

MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – Geneva will host talks on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization next week, Alexei Bogdanov, the head of the main division for foreign economic affairs at the Agriculture and Food Ministry of Belarus, told reporters on 19 January, BelTA has learned.

“As for the World Trade Organization, a Belarusian delegation will go to Geneva on Monday for the first full round of talks on Belarus’ accession to the WTO with a hundred countries,” Alexei Bogdanov noted. The negotiations will last for a week.

The head of the main division for foreign economic affairs emphasized that the country’s accession to the WTO is a long process involving many talks and consultations. “We are working on this. Some WTO member states have already submitted applications for increasing the quotas for duty-free supplies of our products and reducing the customs duties. Some questions arise regarding veterinary certificates, and we will be addressing them,” Alexei Bogdanov pointed out.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said some time ago that Belarus’ efforts to speed up the talks on its accession to the WTO were supported by most of the WTO member states. Having reviewed the package of documents presented by the Belarusian side, the WTO Secretariat drew up and distributed a draft report of the working group on Belarus’ accession to the WTO in December 2016. The report will be considered during the full round of talks in January 2017.

“The distribution of the draft report indicates that the candidate country is ready for the final stage of multilateral negotiations,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.

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