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28 February 2024, 10:41

Belarus, WTO discuss accession prospects

  MINSK, 28 February (BelTA) -  Prospects for Belarus' accession to the World Trade Organization were discussed at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

On the sidelines of the conference, the delegation of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Yuri Gorelik, director of the department of foreign economic activities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, met with WTO Deputy Director General Zhang Xiangchen, Director of the Accessions Division Maika Oshikawa and Secretary of the Working Group on Belarus’ WTO Accession Dimitar Bratanov. The problems and prospects of the Belarusian negotiation process were discussed in detail during the meeting. 

China Round Table on WTO Accessions was held within the framework of the conference. "This is an annual platform for observers and members of the WTO to consider topical issues of new accessions to the organization," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained.

When speaking at the event, Yuri Gorelik stressed the important role of WTO technical assistance in the successful completion of the negotiation process. The Belarusian diplomat noted the need for a non-discriminatory approach to the distribution of technical assistance.  

During the meeting of the WTO Informal Group of Acceding Governments, established in 2018 and coordinated by Belarus from 2018 to 2021, Yuri Gorelik urged all acceding states not to keep silent, but to speak up, with one voice, on the problems of the accession process, which is currently too complicated and protracted. The accession process for current observers to the WTO already averages 20 years (37 years in the case of Algeria). “If the WTO aims to be effective and inclusive, the accession process should not take that long,” the Belarusian diplomat emphasized.  

At the WTO Ministerial Conference, the Belarusian delegation urged the organization not to stay aloof from the problem of the negative impact of numerous sanctions on trade, international logistics, and global food security.

“The need was emphasized to revise the procedure of accession of new states to the WTO and approaches to providing technical assistance to acceding states,” the ministry said.
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