Iraq is moving to join global trade … and an Arab country: We will facilitate its mission

Time: 09/03/2020 10:15:12 Read: 2,600 times

{Baghdad: Al Furat News} Iraq opened the file for its accession to the World Trade Organization.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of which the Euphrates News Agency received a copy, said: “The Chargé d’Affairs, Minister Plenipotentiary {Abbas Kazem Obeid} met in Geneva the head of the working group on Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Omar Hilal / Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations in New York, In the presence of the Director of the WTO’s Accession Department, Ms. Maika Oshikawa, and her assistance at the Organization’s headquarters.

The two sides exchanged, according to the statement, “talking about ways to activate the file of Iraq’s accession to the organization and the importance of continuing work in completing the technical documents to complete the requirements for accession and overcome the obstacles and challenges facing the accession process.”

The statement indicated that “it was agreed to prepare training programs for members of the national negotiating team, as well as discuss the importance of setting a new date for the high-level conference on Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which was supposed to be held in Baghdad for the period 26-27 / 11/2019. “.

Last Thursday, Moroccan state television – Channel 1 – announced that Moroccan Ambassador Omar Hilal, head of the working group concerned with Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, held a series of meetings with the parties participating in the World Trade Organization last week in Geneva. Activating the file of integrating Iraq into this organization.

On the other hand, identical sources indicated that these meetings follow a telephone conversation that Ambassador Omar Hilal had held during the past month of July, with the Minister of Trade, Alaa Ahmed Hassan Al-Jubouri.

The same source added that during the aforementioned meeting, the two sides agreed to activate negotiations, with a view to speeding up the process of the Iraqi Republic’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Here it is noteworthy that Ambassador Omar Hilal, Chairman of the Working Group on Iraq’s Accession, had a discussion with the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, and held a working session with the Deputy Director General in charge of accession operations, Alan Wolf, as well as with Mika Oshikawa, Director of the Accession Operations Department, Where Wolff pledged to work to sensitize the countries of the World Trade Organization, in order to facilitate the process of joining Iraq.

On the other hand, according to a report by MAP, he highlighted that Ambassador Omar Hilal held bilateral meetings with ambassadors and permanent representatives in Geneva, and the main countries participating in this process, especially the European Union, Switzerland, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, in their capacity as coordinator of the Arab Group He also had a fruitful phone conversation with the representative of the United States, who was in Washington.

The report also highlighted that the interlocutors of Moroccan Hilal were unanimous in expressing thanks and praise for Morocco’s tireless efforts aimed at re-launching the process of Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, in the difficult context of the “Covid-19” epidemic.

On the other hand, the aforementioned source added that the Moroccan diplomat held a virtual working session from Baghdad, with Adel Al-Masoudi, Director General of Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Trade and head of the delegation in charge of negotiations, and this meeting constituted an occasion for the Iraqi side, in order to reaffirm his commitment to redouble efforts in order to prepare All documents required to join.

To this end, the Iraqi side requested technical assistance for the benefit of the various ministerial sectors concerned in order to form an effective negotiation team, capable of enabling Iraq to better negotiate its interests during this process, which will be long and arduous, and this virtual working session was completed by coordination meetings held with the mission. Al-Iraqiya, with Abbas Kazem Obeid, the Iraqi ambassador to Geneva.

In order to mobilize the necessary financial contributions for technical assistance, training and strengthening the capabilities required by the Iraqi authorities, Hilal held a virtual working session with representatives of the World Bank in both Baghdad and Beirut. On the other hand, the head of the working group called in a meeting with the director of technical assistance for the mall International to strengthen technical support for the benefit of the Iraqi delegation.

The re-launch of the process of Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization comes in a positive context, reinforced by encouraging signs following the formation of the new Iraqi government led by Mustafa Al-Kazemi, as the latter expressed his aspiration to open up to its regional and international surroundings.

Thus, Al-Kazemi aims to fight corruption, and to carry out many reforms in the country, especially at the level of the judicial system, as well as to implement the necessary economic transformation so that oil is not primarily dependent on oil as a major source of Iraq’s GNP, by focusing on diversifying his income through Promote the sectors of agriculture, livestock, agricultural industries and trade.

On the eve of these preliminary discussions, led by Hilal Maghribi in Geneva, the World Bank published a report on the economic situation in Iraq.

This report stresses the importance of the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which will help complete many reforms, through binding international commitments, and enable Iraq to benefit from a multilateral trading system that is transparent, extrapolable, and based on rules.

Ammar Al-Masoudi

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