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16 May 2018

WTO members support Belarus’ steps to join organization

MINSK, 16 May (BelTA) – During the tenth official session of the working group on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization WTO member states supported the steps taken by the country’s government to join the organization, BelTA learned from the website of Belarus’ permanent diplomatic mission to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva.

The Belarusian delegation was led by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Yeudachenka. The delegation included representatives of the ministries of economy, finance, justice, agriculture and food, antimonopoly regulation and trade, communications, forestry, healthcare, representatives of the central bank, the State Customs Committee, the State Standardization Committee, and the National Intellectual Property Center.

Andrei Yeudachenka informed participants of the session about the development of the Belarusian economy, about what had been done to improve the national laws, about the completion of bilateral negotiations on the access to the markets of Norway, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Iceland.

Representatives of the European Union, Canada, Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, China, Vietnam, India, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Guatemala, Georgia, Moldova, and other countries backed the steps the Belarusian government takes to join the WTO. They also noted the considerable progress secured in bringing Belarusian laws into compliance with the WTO rules. Most of the countries noted that Belarus’ accession to the WTO will contribute to a stronger international trade system.

The sides discussed in detail the draft report of the working group on Belarus’ economic policy, export and import regulations, technical barriers in trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade aspects of intellectual property rights, trade in services. The Belarusian delegation answered questions about the legal regulation of the economy, currency and finance regulations, and the access of foreign investments to the country’s economy. The third edition of the report is supposed to be discussed during the next official session, which is scheduled for Q4 2018.

Andrei Yeudachenka also met with Kemal Madenoglu, chairman of the working group on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization, in a separate meeting. The diplomats discussed the current situation and further steps in the course of the negotiation process.

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