Uzbekistan first made a request for a membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 8 December 1994 and the Working Party for its accession was established on 21 December 1994. Fifteen years later, the formal process of accession was initiated, leading to the fourth meeting of the Working Party in July 2020. Uzbekistan has started the process to negotiate its obligations/binding commitments on liberalising goods and services, compliance with other WTO agreements like TRIPS, Trade Facilitation Agreement, SPS, TBT, Customs Valuations, TRIMS etc. To comply with the process and later with the negotiated obligations and bindings, it will be necessary for an update or introduction of several domestic laws and regulations. On 29 July 2021, the Factual Summary of Points Raised so far in the process, prepared by the Secretariat, was circulated to the Working Party.
The objective of this workshop is to bring policymakers and negotiators of other selected ESCAP member States which have acceded to WTO to share their experience with Uzbekistan, both in terms of the accession process itself as well as the benefits and challenges post accession.
The sessions will focus on three distinct yet interrelated set of issues:
- Process of negotiations (interaction with the Working Party and its Chair; plurilateral and bilateral processes of negotiations; reports; accession package and acceptance; and similar).
- Within a country process (a) management of necessary reforms; coordination with relevant ministries; (b) communication with business sector and public, and other stakeholders (c) preparation of evidence-based impact analyses.
- Implementation of accession package and management of challenges including through access to technical assistance and capacity building (especially in the area of transparency commitments).