A blog on international economic law and policy issues.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan - inch towards WTO membership
For those following accession to the WTO (I know not many would be ardent followers now that more than 150 countries are members), Russia's accession is closely being followed by the accession process of Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan. I had blogged about Afghanistan's accession earlier here.
The WTO website reported Tajikistan's accession progress which is in its final stages (after 11 years of negotiation) thus:
“Once Tajikistan completes its domestic ratification procedures, it will become the 159th member of the WTO family. For Tajikistan, a small and landlocked country, WTO accession is a road leading to the world economy. For the WTO, it is another step towards universality and a sign of confidence in the values and benefits of the multilateral trading system,” said Director-General Pascal Lamy."
Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have still some way to go. Continuing accession to the WTO signifies the importance countries accord to the multilateral process and being part of the global body on international trade. It also signifies the importance of multilateral rules and governance structure inspite of the growing bilateral agreements. Is it a triumph of multilateralism? It also shows the extremely arduous and time consuming process of getting into the WTO! Anyway, more the merrier...