BiH near membership into the WTO

BiH near membership into the WTO

Bosnia and Herzegovina can reach full membership in the World Trade Organisation till summer this year, and is on the right path to finish negotiations.

During the last few days, minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations in the BiH Council of Ministers, Mirko Šarović, participated in several meetings in Geneva to negotiate conditions for full BiH membership in this important organisation. Upon his return, he spoke to the media saying that BiH is on the right track and that membership is possible “before summer holidays”.

“In Geneva we had to take two steps and succeeded in taking one of them; completing it means we are closer to WTO membership. This means that we have finished negotiations on the market access with Ukraine, which is a very important progress. Negotiations with Russia will remain the basic obstacle for BiH, as we completed only half of the work, considering the fact that we have agreed on the rules, or the decision on the quality of liquid petroleum fuels, i.e. the opportunity for Russian companies to sell in BiH and that the fuel is thought to be the best quality fuel,” noted Šarović.

He added that only one tariff line is disputable with Brazil, and it refers to chicken meat. Šarović believes that BiH is very close to the final agreement with Brazil as well.

“If I can share the general impression from the session with more than 50 ambassadors who attended yesterday’s work group, we received the support from all the leading forces,” stressed Šarović.

He said that the important document which was adopted in Geneva, and is perhaps the most powerful one, is the action plan, or the road map for BiH towards the accession to the World Trade Organization.

He explained that, basically, it means WTO members states adopted an action plan that foresees BiH will be admitted into the WTO by the summer of 2018.

According to the minister, all remaining negotiations should be finished by the end of March, “since we are over with the legislative part.”

“In March -and we are confident that this will happen- when we conclude bilateral negotiations, it will need at least three months of technical preparations with the WTO administration so that in June, before the holidays, BiH could join the World Trade Organization,” Šarović concluded…/IBNA