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Tajikistan approved for WTO membership



Monday, December 10, 2012 - The World Trade Organization (WTO) officially approved an accession package for Tajikistan, which will allow the country to join the world trade body once it formally ratifies the procedure.
Tajikistan, the smallest economy in Central Asia, expands the global trade body to 158 nations.
Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon was in the Swiss capital Geneva to speak at the general council on his country’s accession to the WTO, according to the official presidential website.
He was also expected to hold one-on-one talks with the organization’s director-general Pascal Lamy.
“Accession to the WTO will firmly integrate Tajikistan into the global economy and the global trading system, providing an open, transparent, and nondiscriminatory environment,” Lamy said earlier, according to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
As a full member, Tajikistan has to accelerate its integration in the world economy by opening up its domestic markets to international trade and by creating a more transparent and predictable business environment.
It is expected to immediately and fully apply all WTO provisions in cross-border trading and within special economic zones and areas where special tax regimes and regulations were operating.
The country is committed to a ceiling on import tariffs without extra duties or charges. Also, it is forbidden to use licensing procedures and conditions as hidden barriers to market access, among other things.
The country applied for WTO membership in May 2001 and has been an observer state since then.
Another 27 governments are at different stages of accession into the body.
Tajikistan has also been in discussions to join the customs union now shared by Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Russia. Kazakh and Russian accession to the WTO was approved earlier this year. It is not expected that Tajikistan’s WTO status will impede accession to the customs union.