YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Deputy Economy Minister of Armenia–Armen Darbinian–said that the government considers Armenia’s membership to the World Trade Organization as a trump card to attract investors.
Darbinian emphasized that the third session on Armenia’s membership to the WTO–which recently ended in Geneva–was productive. If all goes well–Armenia will become a WTO member by late 1998. According to Darbinian–by becoming a WTO member–Armenia will assume a number of obligations proceeding from the WTO statute and international norms which influence the economy of any country and determine its economic rating. A good economic rating can attract investors.
The process of Armenia’s joining the WTO began in 1995. Darbinian believes that the third session of the working group was the next to last. As a result of this meeting the WTO Secretariate was instructed to prepare a draft report of the working group. This is a good indicator of Armenia reaching the final stages of entering the organization.
Bilateral negotiations with WTO member-states is to take place by the end of June or beginning of July. If Armenia’succeeds–it will be the first Commonwealth of Independent State to join the WTO. Estonia and Latvia are nearly at the same stage as Armenia in the approval process.
Darbinian also stressed that since Armenia has no attractive economic vistas–like oil and gas resources–it should attract the attention of international publicity for its economic achievemen’s–liberated economic system–legislative base and comparatively early membership to WTO.