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14 Dec 2017

MFA: Belarus makes headway in negotiations on WTO accession

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – Belarus has made headway in the negotiation process on the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told the media, BelTA informs.

According to Dmitry Mironchik, a Belarusian delegation led by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Yevdochenko finished the visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina on 13 December. The Belarusians took part in the 11th WTO ministerial conference. The delegation, which also comprised First Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi and Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Alla Lomakina, had several meetings and negotiations with the WTO member states, including Canada, EU countries, the USA, Brazil, Switzerland, China, Argentina, and Ukraine.

“Belarus signed the protocols to complete bilateral negotiations on market access for goods with El Salvador and Guatemala. Thus, the total number of protocols that Belarus signed with WTO member states now totals 16, six of them were inked in 2017,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

The country also reached an agreement to complete negotiations with China’s Taipei. A related protocol will be signed in January 2018. Belarus and several WTO members brought their positions on the negotiation process closer, which will help conclude final bilateral agreements on market access for goods and services in the coming months.

The Belarusians also had a meeting with a Russian delegation as part of the effort to coordinate the positions of the EAEU member states on the WTO.

Andrei Yevdochenko gave a speech at the plenary session of the ministerial conference. He confirmed Belarus’ commitment to becoming a full-fledged WTO member and spoke about the measures taken by the Belarusian government in this regard.

“It was noted that Belarus plays an important role in international trade liberalization as a EAEU member. The country signs preferential trade agreements with third countries. Heads of several delegations, including Russia, Moldova, and Vietnam expressed support for Belarus’ WTO membership at the conference,” Dmitry Mironchik stressed.

The Belarusian delegation also met with WTO Deputy Director General Alan Wolff and members of the WTO Secretariat on the sidelines of the conference. They mapped out further steps in the negotiation process on Belarus’ WTO accession and the possible dates of another round of multilateral talks in Geneva.

 

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