YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia possesses all of the prerequisites to become a member of the World Trade Organization by the end of 1997–head of the department for cooperation with the WTO of Armenia and Economy Ministry Ara Hakobian said yesterday.
Armenia will be among the first former USSR states to be affiliated with the WTO. Taking into account the importance of Armenia’s affiliation to the WTO–Levon Ter-Petrosyan included this point into his election campaign last year.
Hakobian says that the group involved with Armenia’s membership into this organization will hold its third meeting on May 14 at the WTO head office.
Hakobian also said that the process of Armenia’s entering this organization started back in September 1994 when a committee was formed headed by Australia’s envoy to the WTO–Don Canon.
In March 1995 a memorandum regarding the regime of Armenia’s foreign trade policy was sent to the WTO Secretariat.
In January 1996 the committee held its first meeting yielding "bright results."
According to Hakobian–Armenia is mainly negotiating with five WTO member-states: European Union–USA–Canada–Australia and Switzerland. These countries acknowledge the fact that Armenia took liberalization as a base for its economic policy and can become a reliable partner for WTO member-states.