WTO accession to create more trade, investment opportunities for Azerbaijan

The US-Azerbaijan economic ties must be strengthened, said Kurt Tong, US principal deputy assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

"We discussed the issues related to trade, finances, agriculture, combating corruption," Tong told reporters April 15 in Baku. "My role is to strengthen the economy cooperation between Azerbaijan and US."

"The US believes it would be a very great idea for Azerbaijan to complete its accession for the WTO," he said. "This will create more opportunities for Azerbaijan in trade and investment."

Tong added that Azerbaijan's WTO accession will also create additional opportunities for strengthening the country's economic relations with other countries in trade.

During the meetings in Baku, Tong is discussing how the US government is assisting Azerbaijan's economic growth and how that assistance can be improved, the US embassy told Trend earlier.

The program of Tong's two-day visit to Baku includes the US State Department's global economic diplomacy efforts, prospective cooperation with Azerbaijan in trade, finance, telecommunications, transportation, commercial areas, according to the message.

During the visit Tong holds meetings with the government officials, representatives of business circles, reviews Azerbaijan's economic situation, reforms, being carried out in the country, according to the message.

Azerbaijan has had an observer status at the WTO since 1997. A working group on Azerbaijan was established at the WTO Secretariat on July 16, 1997.

Azerbaijan started negotiations with the WTO member countries in 2004. Currently, the country is negotiating with 19 countries. Russia, which formally expressed a desire to start negotiations with Azerbaijan, was the last one to join the organization, but no offers have been received from this country yet.

Negotiations are now completed, and the protocols signed with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The country is at the stage of signing the protocol with China and Moldova.

Source: Trend