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Tajikistan is entering the final stretch of its bid to achieve membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The nation has so far held eight rounds of negotiations on a bilateral basis with nations that have sought to discuss tariff and market access provisions for inclusion in its final accession package.
As part of ongoing bilateral market access negotiations, the latest held in the week ending August 17, Tajikistan has agreed to lower tariffs on cooking equipment, refrigerators, ovens and water heaters in discussions to gain Thailand's backing. Earlier, the Tajikistan government confirmed that it had concluded negotiations with Japan, and had received support from the nation for its accession in an agreement signed on July 31, 2012. A total of seventeen of Tajikistan's 90 trading partners are interesting in negotiating terms bilaterally.
Tajikistan began its bid to join the WTO in 2001. The Working Party charged with overseeing its accession bid has so far held six meetings, the last of which was held in June 2011.
During this meeting, for the first time, a draft Working Party Report was tabled, identifying areas needing improvement before Tajikistan can join the global trade body. Members identified that progress was needed in areas such as anti dumping, trading rights, Tajikistan's investment regime, import licensing, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights, and services.
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