Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Belarus should accelerate WTO entry talks, expert says


Belarus should accelerate talks on its admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as the admission process is expected to become increasingly more complicated for the country with the expansion of the organization, Dimitar Bratanov, economic affairs officer at the WTO’s Accessions Division, said at a round-table discussion in Minsk on Thursday.

The number of WTO members is projected to increase from the current 153 countries to 157 next year, with the organization to account for 99 percent of world trade as a result, the officer said.

But as more and more members will be admitted to the WTO, additional demands may be laid out for Belarus, he warned, noting that the criteria that the country had already met might also be revised.

On the whole, Mr. Bratanov said, Belarus has made some progress in the admission process. The country has completed bilateral talks with 10 WTO members, including China, Moldova, India, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, he said, adding that Belarus was, however, still engaged in talks with 12 other members of the WTO.