Armenia to face problems within WTO when joining customs union: EDB

Armenia to face problems within WTO when joining customs union: EDB

YEREVAN, January 17. /ARKA/. Armenia will face problems within the World Trade Organization (WTO) when joining the Customs Union, says the study by the integration research center of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) entitled “Armenia and Customs Union: evaluation of economic integration effects”.

The authors of the study say average weighted import tariff used for Armenia is one of the lowest ones used by WTO member countries – preferential 2.7% (compared to 7.6% in 2013, 6.9% in 2014 and 6% in 2015 in the Customs Union)

Armenia is not using tariff quotas, 73% of tariff lines are not liable to customs duties, and almost all the remaining ones are liable to 10% duty, says the report. Weighted average bound tariff for Armenia is 8.5% (10% for Russia). Armenia’s trade regime, in many fields and in services trade, is more liberal than its obligations within the WTO, according to the report.

The EDB believes trade negotiations will be required for solving this conflict, with the Customs Union (CU) member countries to be a consolidated party to negotiations.

Yet, the study says, Armenia’s integration in the CU gives a number of structural advantages that may strengthen Armenia’s economic positions and improve its stability. Whether this potential will be realized or not largely depends on solutions to key problems, like transport, energy, rail and motor road export via Georgia, legalization of labor migration and improved investment appeal of the country, the study says.

A quantitative analysis of effects of the accession to the CU points to an additional 4% growth of Armenia’s GDP per year. It is worth to mention that trade effect of reduction in Russian gas price worth 140 million dollars per year is comparable with increase of GDP of 146 million dollars. –0--

12:26 17.01.2014

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