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WTO Asks Azerbaijan to Cut Tariffs

Azerbaijan will prepare new proposals on tariffs for industrial and agricultural products as part of the talks on joining the World Trade Organization, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said.

"The WTO member states, including the US, the EU countries and Norway, propose Azerbaijan, within their interests, to cut bound tariffs on goods imports. This includes a large number of industrial and agricultural products," he added.

The bound tariff rate is the maximum customs duty rate on the import of certain goods, set within the country's commitments at the WTO. The importing country cannot change the rate unilaterally.

The objective of the Azerbaijani government during the process of negotiating on WTO membership is to ensure maximum protection of national businesses and manufacturers.

Earlier in the process of WTO accession, Azerbaijan proposed an average primary-bound tariff rate (to be applied after the entry into the organization) of 13.2 percent and an average final-bound rate 11.7 percent after a transitional period.

Moreover, the average-bound tariffs on agriculture was proposed by Azerbaijan to be at 14.1 percent, while in developed countries, the figure is 22.8 percent, 12.7 percent in developing countries, and 15.4 percent in underdeveloped countries.

In Azerbaijan, the average tariff stands at 9.4 percent, against 9.6 percent in the developed world, and 17.7 percent in the underdeveloped).

Mammadguliyev went on to add that as part of preparation for the next round of talks on accession to the WTO, the Azerbaijani government should also introduce a new list on domestic support for agriculture, taking into account the changes in the country's agro-industrial sector in 2012-2014.

Currently, Azerbaijan is in the process of negotiations with the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, European Union, Norway, India, South Korea, Taiwan Province of China, Canada, Switzerland, and Honduras to join the WTO.

Source: AzerNews

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