After more than 11 years of negotiations Tajikistan became the 159th member of the World Trade Organization. This historic event for the Republic of Tajikistan was announced today, 02 March 2013.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the International Trade Center (ITC) congratulate the Republic of Tajikistan on their official accession to the WTO, and affirm their commitment to continue supporting the country in the post-accession period.
The Director of Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan, Mr. Peter Mikula noted: “Tajikistan’s accession to the WTO has only been possible thanks to the strong political will and commitment demonstrated by the President and the Tajik Government. SECO is grateful to its main counterpart, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, for the tremendous work performed since 2001. We sincerely congratulate H.E. Mr. Minister Sharif Rahimzoda, Mr. Deputy Minister Saidrahmon Nazriev, the WTO division team of the Ministry as well as the team of professional negotiators without whom WTO accession could have been impossible to reach.”
Switzerland remains committed to working with the Republic of Tajikistan by providing assistance for the implementation of WTO provisions. In the years to come Switzerland will continue its assistance in Tajikistan in the field of implementation of WTO provisions (services, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)) and in the area of intellectual property rights related to trade (TRIPS), textile and clothing industry and other issues regarding the post accession process.
“WTO accession is a big step forward for Tajikistan on its way to an economically viable state. However, the implementation of the commitments made in the course of accession remains a challenge for the future. In many sectors, accession to the WTO will require comprehensive changes in business practices and large scale training and monitoring to develop a strong non-traditional export base. The competitiveness of domestic industries also relies on the business climate and other factors such as the cost of energy, telecommunications, financial services, infrastructure and the like. WTO accession should contribute to improving this environment on condition that the Government and the private sector keep on demonstrating their commitment in implementing the domestic reforms based on solid consensus among the major stakeholders.” – Mr. Peter Mikula concluded.
Switzerland has supported the Republic of Tajikistan throughout the entire accession process with a focused trade-related technical assistance. This, in particular, included a number of infrastructure projects, private sector development programs, aid in the financial sector and trade promotion projects.
Mr. Saidrahmon Nazriev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade says: “From the very beginning of Tajikistan’s application process, SECO has been an instrumental and valued partner in supporting the necessary internal reforms and facilitating our capacity to negotiate for accession under favorable economic terms. And now, when Tajikistan has become a fully-fledged member of the WTO, our key task is to prepare the Government Road Map for the WTO Post Accession period (the next 4-5 years), which will enable the relevant ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector to benefit from the opportunities and overcome the challenges that WTO membership has in store. The Road Map will be drafted in the upcoming months and shared with all line ministries, agencies and development partners for comments and discussion.
In light of this, we would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Switzerland and other donor partners for their consent and readiness to support us in developing and implementing the Road Map”.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the Swiss competence centre for all core issues relating to economic policy. SECO implements economic development cooperation with developing and transition countries with the aim to support the sustainable integration of these countries into the world economy and to promote their economy in order to help reduce poverty. SECO is part of the Swiss Federal Department. Further information can be found at: www.seco.admin.ch. or www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch.
The Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). ITC’s goal is to help developing and transition countries achieve sustainable human development through exports. Information on ITC’s core areas of expertise and its approach to trade-related technical cooperation is available on ITC’s website: www.intracen.org.