Bulgaria has undertaken significant reforms including, liberalization
of its trade policies, since acceding to the WTO in 1996. More recently,
the reform process has been accelerated by Bulgaria’s goal of joining
the European Union in 2007. The resulting more open and competitive
trade regime has contributed to Bulgaria’s notable macroeconomic
recovery since 1997, and increased its trade with the rest of the world,
in particular from preferential regional sources.
A report on the trade policies and practices of Bulgaria, released on
17 October by the WTO Secretariat, notes that the broad trade policy
reforms undertaken by Bulgaria cover its customs, tariff, import
licensing, contingent trade instruments, standards, government
procurement, trade-related intellectual property, and services regimes.
Sectoral reforms implemented include land restitution in the
agricultural sector, and privatization of most state-owned enterprises
in the manufacturing, financial and tourism sectors.
Despite the positive effects of reform on the macroeconomic and trade
environment, maintaining sustained economic growth and reducing
widespread unemployment and poverty remain major economic challenges.
Reducing the gap between Bulgaria’s applied and bound MFN tariff rates
would enhance the predictability of the trade regime for goods.
Furthermore, consolidation and acceleration of structural reforms in
such areas as the judicial system and in the energy and agricultural
sectors would serve to increase the benefits from a more liberal trade
following documents are available in MS Word format.
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Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements,
in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and
evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have
an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each
review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the
government of the member under review, and a detailed report written
independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then
discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body
(TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are
published shortly afterwards.
copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the
WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211
Genève 21 and through the on-line
TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.
of forthcoming reviews back to top
Guyana: 29, 31 October 2003
Haiti: 4, 6 November 2003
Thailand: 12, 14 November 2003