THIS NEWS STORY is designed to help the public understand developments in the WTO. While every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, it does not prejudice member governments’ positions.



The 10th meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Azerbaijan on 7 December 2012 was the second meeting in 2012 (the 9th meeting took place in late February). Members reviewed the state of play in the bilateral market access negotiations on goods and services, examined the country’s foreign trade regime and reviewed legislative developments.

Mr Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator of Azerbaijan, provided an overview of Azerbaijan’s economy and the development of WTO-related legislation. The objective of the Azerbaijani Government, he said, was to diversify and modernize the economy to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas sector.

On the bilateral market access negotiations, Mr Mammad-Guliyev noted that Azerbaijan had signed a bilateral agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic, in March 2012, and had recently concluded bilateral negotiations with China. It had also held bilateral negotiations with Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Norway and the United States on the margins of the meeting of the Working Party.

Representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States welcomed the substantive inputs submitted by Azerbaijan and expressed their support for this accession.

During the discussions, members requested clarifications on Azerbaijan’s economic policies, state-trading enterprises and privatization, pricing policies, investment, competition policy, VAT exemptions, application of excise taxes, and enactment of the Customs Tariff Law. They also requested clarifications on fees and charges for services rendered, customs valuation, rules of origin, export bans, industrial subsidies, agricultural export subsidies, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement and intellectual property.

The Chairperson of the Working Party, H.E. Mr Walter Lewalter (Germany), concluded the meeting by saying that discussions had been useful and substantive. He encouraged the delegation of Azerbaijan to continue negotiations with members in a proactive manner.


Background information

  • Application received on 30 June 1997
  • Working Party established on 16 July 1997
  • Working Party Chairperson: H.E. Mr W. Lewalter (Germany)
  • Working Party Secretary: Ms Josefita Pardo de Leon
  • Working Party Co-Secretary: Ms Juneyoung Lee

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