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Azerbaijan's integration in the BRI Middle Corridor: Is WTO accession needed

Nahmadova, Firuza (2021): Azerbaijan's integration in the BRI Middle Corridor: Is WTO accession needed. Published in: Baku Research Institute

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Abstract

Azerbaijan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been under discussion since the late 1990s, however this process is not any closer to being achieved today. Despite the government’s multiple economic reforms and the implementation of strategic roadmaps, the same can not be said about Azerbaijan’s commitment to bilateral and multilateral market access negotiations (WTO 2017). The objective of this article is to investigate the potential impact of WTO accession on the economic strategy of Azerbaijan. Contrary to other WTO members, China does not automatically apply the Most-Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rate to non-members. The cost-benefit analysis in this paper suggests that the Azerbaijani goods with the highest untapped potential in China suffer from the application of the General Tariff Rate (GTR) versus the MFN tariff applied to all WTO members (China Customs 2021; International Trade Center, 2021). Findings suggest that Azerbaijan’s WTO accession is required for this country to integrate into the Middle Corridor and reap its benefits fully.

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