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Opinions & Interviews

9 Nov 2018

WTO welcomes Belarus’ efforts to accelerate accession

WTO welcomes Belarus’ efforts to accelerate accession

MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) – The World Trade Organization welcomes Belarus’ efforts to join the organization as soon as possible, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization Alan Wolff told BelTA. On 9 November Alan Wolff gave a lecture to students and the academic staff of the International Relations Department of the Belarusian State University.

The WTO deputy director-general said that the talks in general and the official meetings held during the current visit to Minsk demonstrate Belarus’ big interest in joining the World Trade Organization.

He also explained his decision to meet with students of the International Relations Department: “The future elite are receiving education here. Perhaps, these are the future country leaders who should clearly understand the advantages of the country’s membership in the organization.”

During the lecture Alan Wolff said that joining the organization is not an easy process and, of course, it takes time. Alan Wolff cited China as an example. The country had changed about 10,000 different regulations and rules before the WTO accession. The WTO deputy director-general named Belarus’ membership in the Eurasian Economic Union as one of the country’s advantages.

Alan Wolff expressed concern about the situation in international trade. “Today it is not known whether there is a trade war or not, but for business there is a lot of uncertainty. The fears of a trade war have already been affecting prices, including the assets of world companies,” he said. That is why the maintenance of the international trading system is one of the most important goals for the WTO.

He also touched on the prospects for global implementation of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is coming, but we do not know yet how it will be applied to all types of activities. It is absolutely obvious that artificial intelligence will radically change the world and our life, said Alan Wolff. The WTO certainly responds to new challenges, he added.

This is the first visit of a high-level representative of the World Trade Organization to Belarus. Meetings have been held in the government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Economy Ministry, the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, and the Agriculture and Food Ministry.

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