NOT AT ALL COSTS BUT ON THE BASIS

Belarus is going to carry on bilateral negotiations on entering the World Trade Organization not at all costs but on the basis of interests
From the viewpoint of Belarusian tactics in frames of negotiation process on entering the WTO, the main emphasize is placed on the proceeding of bilateral negotiations on access to the merchandise and service market. Andrei Evdochenko, the deputy foreign minister, said about it in his last interview. He noted that during the years 2006–2007 8 rounds of bilateral negotiations with 9 countries were carried on, following their results three members of WTO signed the final protocols. Quite recently, in April of this year, during the official visit of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko to India the final protocol was signed with this country that holds significant positions in the world trade.

“It allowed bringing the total number of countries with finished bilateral negotiations to eight (China, India, Turkey, Cuba, Bulgaria, Armenia, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan). Now the efforts will be directed to at dynamic cooperation with the countries, where bilateral negotiations are close to the end and it is somewhere four-five members of WTO. In a parallel way there will be a work with the concerned partners”, — deputy minister explained.

According to Andrei Evdochenko, within the many-sided format of negotiation process the Belorussian side managed to get support of the majority of the WTO working group on Belarus joining. Implementation of methods on further advance of negotiations in this direction continues, which were developed together with the management and secretariat of WTO. The members of WTO still get full information on questions of their interest that can help to prove the conformity of Belarus external trade regime with the system requirements of WTO and to speed up the process of negotiations.

The important clause of the negotiation process advancement on Belarus joining WTO is the provision of national legislation conformity with the requirements of WTO, i.e. the internal component. All necessary measures are taken there as the deputy foreign minister explained. In the years 2002–2004 Belarusian legislation system was made in full conformity with the WTO requirements.

Nowadays the process of harmonization of national legislation with the requirements of WTO is practically finished. The work is aimed at making regulations of lower level in conformity with framework laws, which take into account WTO rules, first of all, the law of the Republic of Belarus on “Government regulation of foreign trade activity”.

As Andrei Evdochenko underlined, the position of Belarus joining WTO remains unchanged: “We don’t try to join WTO at all costs and we are guided exceptionally by the interests of our economy in this process”.

Alexander Sokolovskiy
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