The process of Belarus' accession to the WTO is dragging slowly, but it can be significantly accelerated, Bozkurt Aran, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the WTO, Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of Belarus, said at a meeting with members of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus in Minsk on 22 June, BelTA has learnt.
Belarus submitted an application to join the WTO about 15 years ago. According to Bozkurt Aran, the process had made little headway because of the need to thoroughly study a number of issues related to Belarus' accession to the WTO. He expressed hope that the process will speed up significantly. He noted that Belarus had already done a lot to ascend to the organization, presented some papers "But the WTO members expect Belarus to submit a package of documents to see how close the Belarusian legislation is to the WTO regulations, Bozkurt Aran said. "There is some legislative basis regulating trade and investments that should be translated and submitted to the WTO so that the members of the organization could study it," the Permanent Representative of Turkey said.
Bozkurt Aran noted that Belarus will have to amend some laws to be able to join the WTO. Here the parliament comes to the forefront. "It is very important that the parliament be directly involved in these reforms. It is necessary to protect the interests of people, the Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of Belarus said.
During their visit to Belarus representatives of the Working Party held meetings at the Foreign Ministry and are set to meet with top officials of the Economy Ministry and Vice-Premier Andrei Kobyakov.
Bozkurt Aran pointed out that the WTO accepts legally binding documents, which means that the governments of the member states have to observe them. The WTO has enough leverages to ensure the observance of the documents.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement. The organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries; it provides a framework for negotiating and formalizing trade agreements, and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round (1986-1994).