Turkmenistan's WTO accession implications for business were discussed in Ashgabat

Turkmenistan's WTO accession implications for business were discussed in Ashgabat

Turkmenistan's accession to the World Trade Organization will have a strong impact on local businesses. On the one hand, it will face increasing competition, and on the other, entrepreneurs will have new opportunities to export products and services to foreign markets.

The Representative Office of the European Union in Turkmenistan helped to discuss the nuances of this complex topic. It responded to a request from local women entrepreneurs and organized a consultation meeting with a representative of the International Trade Center (ITC), an agency established by the United Nations and WTO for trade development.

Daria Kerman, an employee of the ITC's Market Development Department, told the meeting participants that WTO accession will increase the security and predictability of market access for other members of the organization, and it will be much easier for Turkmen entrepreneurs to export their products.

According to research conducted by the WTO, 20 years after a country's accession to the organization, the growth rate of its exports on average reaches 700%. At the same time, there is a sharp increase in foreign investment, as the country's compliance with WTO rules and principles increases the investment attractiveness of its economy.

В Ашхабаде обсудили последствия вступления Туркменистана в ВТО для бизнеса

For example, in the five years since Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO, the volume of foreign investment in the country's economy has increased by 50%. Most of the new investments were directed to the service sector (30%) and industry (18%). The country's exports grew by 26% during this period.

The greatest number of questions is caused by the fact that the World Trade Organization promotes the idea of abandoning state support for business, so that there is fair competition in trade and there is no discrimination. This may seem to contradict the economic strategy of countries that promote import substitution. There are many such countries, including Turkmenistan.

The ITC specialist at the consultation in Ashgabat noted that state subsidies, which are aimed exclusively at promoting exports and import substitution, do not really comply with WTO rules. However, countries still have the ability to subsidize their private manufacturers in other ways, such as helping them financially to upgrade equipment.

It is also important that the native economic interests of a country joining the WTO can be protected through active participation in negotiations with WTO members. For example, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan managed to maintain a high level of state support for agriculture during the WTO accession process, reaching agreements with interested countries.