Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iraq in negotiations to become permanent WTO member

Erbil, May 22 (AKnews) – Iraq is negotiating to become a full member in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the trade minister said today.

Kheirullah Hasan told AKnews that the negotiations have been going on behind closed doors for a while running and will resume in Morocco soon.

Iraq is currently an honorary member in the WTO, which has 152 permanent members. At present the members treat Iraq solely as a business partner. If the country is granted permanent membership, it can interact with members in the four main fields of health, agriculture, trade and economy.

The minister said that no specific timescale has been laid out for the conclusion of the talks.

The WTO only allows countries who have opened up their economies through free-market reforms to become full members.

Iraq has started to implement these kinds of changes, following decades of moving towards more a more state-centric economic model.