ArmInfo.Uzbekistan's desire to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may complicate and extend the process of the country's accession to the World Trade Organization. This was stated by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at the business forum of the American-Uzbek Chamber of Commerce in Washington on October 22.
"The desire to join the Eurasian Economic Union can now complicate and extend the process of joining the WTO beyond the time frame established by the leadership of Uzbekistan," he said, urging Uzbek partners to "carefully study the impact of new agreements on accession to the WTO", Gazeta.uz reports. The fact that Uzbekistan is considering the issue of joining the EAEU was revealed during a recent visit by the head of the Council of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matvienko. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke about the prospects of membership in the union in the summer.
"The United States strongly supports Uzbekistan's entry into the WTO and is awaiting the government's response to questions from the memorandum on foreign trade regime," the head of the US trade department said. The memorandum is the basis for considering the application for the country's accession to the WTO, the draft document was approved in March.
In his speech, Wilbur Ross welcomed the economic reforms in Uzbekistan, namely, the liberalization of monetary policy and the abolition of remaining currency restrictions, as well as the establishment of relations with neighboring countries. "This makes Uzbekistan an increasingly attractive market, as companies can very easily serve the entire Central Asian region by working from Uzbekistan," he said.
The minister called the positive results of the reforms a significant increase in US trade with Uzbekistan: from $ 136 million in 2017 to $ 300 million in 2018. The volume of US exports to Uzbekistan in January- August 2019 reached $ 455 million. "Uzbekistan has a real chance to become the leading export destination for American goods in Central Asia this year. However, much remains to be done to ensure the sustainability of these reforms. It is important that Uzbekistan not only establish, but also maintain a reputation for transparency and the rule of law," said Ross.