Armenia Willing to Join World Trade Organization

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The delays in admitting Armenia to the World Trade Organization can be accounted for by the unclear position of the country’s former authorities–Ara Hakobian–executive director of the office set up to assist Armenia in WTO admission affairs–told reporters on Monday.

According to Hakobian–since 1995–negotiations proceeded very rapidly and there was even time to study in detail issues regarding WTO membership. However–later–the unstable position of the former authorities puzzled the WTO Secretariat and WTO member-countries as to whether or not Armenia is ready to continue to bid for WTO membership and regard this process as a priority in its foreign policy? The current government of Armenia confirmed its willingness to continue the process. The Armenian government–under the immediate control of the prime minister–submitted a package of documen’s to the WTO Secretariat. Another round of talks is scheduled to be held in Geneva in early March.

According to Hakobian–the process of Armenia’s membership to the WTO is based on bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Bilateral negotiations between Armenia and Japan are already drawing to a conclusion.

WTO Secretariat senior advisor Andre Wagner said the main objectives of the talks is to create market transparency.

After Armenia is admitted to the WTO–the 19 agreemen’s of this organization must be legally enforced in Armenia. WTO membership will also require some amendment to the normative and legislative acts regarding the customs sphere–intellectual property–standards and the general industrial policy.

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