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WTO Accession Progress Tracker

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WTO Accession Progress Tracker Empty WTO Accession Progress Tracker

Post by claud39 on Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:24 am

https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/nl_e/2019_01_acc_newsletter_e.pdf



WTO Accession Progress Tracker Logo_en




WTO Accession Progress Tracker


N° 91 — January/February 2019


12. Iraq (IRQ) Chair: H.E. Mr. Omar HILALE (Morocco) 13 December 2004 2WPM, 2 April 2008 - Updated MFTR circulated in Feb. 2018. - Preparation of full range of updated inputs (replies, LAP, LEG, AGST, checklists and questionnaires, MA offers) - 3WPM (TBC)



Notes: * LDC - AGST (Agricultural Supporting Tables); CVQ (Customs Valuation Questionnaire); DWPR (Draft Working Party Report); FS (Factual Summary of Points Raised); ILQ (Import Licensing Questionnaire); LAP (Legislative Action Plan); LEG (legislation); MA (market access); MFTR (Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime); Q1 (1st quarter); STQ (State Trading Questionnaire); TA (technical assistance); WP (Working Party); WPM (Working Party meeting
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WTO Accession Progress Tracker Empty Members welcome Iraq's firm intention to resume formal negotiations for WTO accession

Post by claud39 on Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:34 am

https://www.wto.org/french/news_f/news17_f/acc_irq_17nov17_f.htm

[size=38]Members welcome Iraq's firm intention to resume formal negotiations for WTO accession[/size]

NOVEMBER 17, 2017





At an informal meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Iraq on 17 November 2017, WTO Members welcomed Iraq's declared willingness to revive the process of accession to the WTO after nine years of interruption. In addition, this meeting provided an opportunity for the Government of Iraq and Members to exchange views on the way forward for this formal resumption in the near future.




"We are here with you at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization to assure you that Iraq is fully committed to the process of economic reform and to be part of the global economic system," said Mr Adel Al-Masoodi, Director-General of the Foreign Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Trade and Vice Chairman of the Iraqi National Committee on Accession to the WTO. "We look forward to opening new horizons for co-operation with the WTO, all international organizations and the international community," he added.
Ambassador Mouayed Saleh, Permanent Representative of Iraq in Geneva, also spoke on behalf of the Iraqi delegation. He said that Iraq is at the beginning of a long and complex WTO accession process "which will take years", but he highlighted the firm and unequivocal will of the government and the people of Iraq to move forward and become an integral part of the international economic and trading system, following a very difficult time in Iraq's recent history. Indeed, Ambassador Saleh underlined that the main reason that Iraq's formal accession process had fallen dormant had been the need for Iraq to focus on improving the security situation in the country in recent years.
The Iraqi delegation in Geneva included other high-level officials from the Ministry of Trade, the Council of Ministers, the State Commission for Customs, the Ministry of Planning, and the Central Bank of Iraq.
The Chairperson of the Working Party, Ambassador Omar Hilale of Morocco, stressed the importance of Iraq's accession to the WTO. He explained that "the accession of Iraq is important for the WTO and the multilateral trading system at large. Iraq is one of the largest economies still outside that system. It is one of the most populous states in the Middle East with over 35 million people. It has a large and diverse economy with a GDP of roughly USD 167 billion. It lies at the crossroads of the Middle East, and is home to countless historic and cultural treasures. Given its regional and, indeed, global strategic importance, it is thus appropriate that Iraq should take its place among the members of the organization whose rules govern over 98% of global trade."
Over 20 members took the floor to commend Iraq's progress in reactivating a process that will serve as a platform from which to launch and deepen domestic reforms that can help Iraq attract foreign investment, diversify the economy and improve the business environment, while benefitting members with greater and more predictable access to Iraqi markets and promoting peace and stability. They expressed their shared hope that Iraq will become a full WTO member as soon as reasonably possible.
Iraq also described, and members stressed the importance of, the concrete progress that Iraq has made in preparing a full set of updated negotiation inputs with a view to restarting the formal Working Party process in the near term, including a revised Memorandum of the Foreign Trade Regime (which will be finalized by the end of the year), an updated Legislative Action Plan, other accession documents and initial market access offers on goods and services. In this context, the Chairperson encouraged members to continue providing Iraq with the necessary technical assistance and support in order to sustain this positive momentum.
"The Working Party is encouraged by the political commitment demonstrated by the Government of Iraq to resume its accession process and the technical progress being made. I would also like to thank members for their support and words of encouragement directed to Iraq, in particular, for their readiness to engage with Iraq, once all the necessary negotiating inputs are on the table in the near term. The focus now is to translate these words into concrete action by holding the third meeting of the Working Party in 2018," the Chairperson said.   

Background

The Working Party on the accession of Iraq was established in December 2004. Nine months later, in September 2005, Iraq circulated the Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime, which was reviewed together with the initial set of questions and answers by the Working Party at its first meeting in May 2007.
The examination of Iraq's trade regime continued in a second meeting in April 2008 on the basis of the second round of questions and answers, together with additional negotiating inputs including a Legislative Action Plan, checklists for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade, a questionnaire on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and agricultural supporting tables.
No activity had taken place at the level of the Working Party since the second meeting.

Next steps

The Chairperson stated that if Iraq submits all the necessary updated negotiating inputs in the timeline envisioned, the third formal meeting of the Working Party could be convened in 2018.

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