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Opinions & Interviews

22 Mar 2016

Preparations for Belarus’ WTO membership may be completed within a year

MINSK, 22 March (BelTA) – International experts do not rule out the possibility that all the preparations for Belarus’ WTO entry may be completed within a year, UNDP Program Officer in Belarus Igor Severine told media ahead of the research and practice seminar on the use of Market Access Map and Trade Map databanks on 22 March, BelTA has learned.

According to the UNDP representative, the event is aimed at enhancing the potential of the parties involved in Belarus’ WTO entry process. “The UNDP supports the process providing necessary assistance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other stakeholders,” he said. The UNDP Program Officer stated that the process of Belarus’ entry to the World Trade Organization has been long enough. Russia and Kazakhstan have already joined the organization.

Speaking about Belarus’ WTO entry prospects, Igor Severine noted that “a little is left to do, including the need to study the experience of the country's closest neighbors.”

The UNDP Program Officer also stressed that it is vital to involve more business representatives in the negotiation process on Belarus’ WTO membership. In his words, the UNDP does its best to teach and train every interested party.

When asked on when Belarus may join the World Trade Organization, Igor Severine said: “It is a very complicated issue. Not only should economic reasons be taken into account, but also political decisions that determine the process for Belarus in the first place. It seems to me that there is a bigger interest in it from Belarus and this process has recently received another wave of revitalization that can be completed within a year or, perhaps, earlier. Then we will have an opportunity to work on its practical implementation.”

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