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Meeting of the Working Party on Belarus Accession to the WTO

16-05-2018

On May 15, 2018 Geneva hosted 10th official meeting of the Working Group on Belarus’ Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The delegation of Belarus was headed by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Yeudachenka. The Belarusian delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, the National Bank, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Communications and Informatization, the Ministry of Forestry, the State Customs Committee, the State Committee of Standardization and the National Center of Intellectual Property.

A.Yeudachenka informed the participants of the meeting on the development of the Belarusian economy, national legislation, as well as on the completion of bilateral negotiations on market access with Norway, El Salvador, Guatemala and Iceland.

Representatives of the EU, Canada, Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, China, Vietnam, India, Australia, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico, Ukraine, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Turkey, Japan, the Republic of Korea, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Guatemala, Georgia, Moldova and other countries in their speeches supported the steps taken by the Government of Belarus to join the WTO, noted significant progress in harmonization of the national legislation of Belarus into compliance with WTO rules. Most of the WTO member states noted that the accession of Belarus into the organization will contribute to strengthening of the international trade system which implies the importance of an early conclusion of the negotiation process.

In the course of the meeting, the participants discussed in details current version of the draft Report of the Working Group on the economic policy of Belarus, the regulation of exports and imports of goods, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade aspects of intellectual property rights, trade in services. The Belarusian side provided answers to the questions posed by the WTO member countries concerning the legal regulation of the economy, monetary and financial regulation, access of foreign investments in the country's economy and other aspects. It is expected that the third edition of the draft Report of the Working Group will be considered during the next official meeting scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.

On May, 14  A.Yeudachenka held a meeting with the Chairman of the Working Group – Permanent Representative of Turkey to the WTO, Kemal Madenoglu,. The sides discussed current situation and further steps in the negotiation process.

On May 14-17, 2018, the Belarusian delegation also holds another round of bilateral negotiations on access to the market of goods and services with 7 WTO members.