Iranian representatives head to WTO meeting in Argentina in push for acceptance

By bne IntelliNews December 12, 2017

An Iranian government delegation has headed to the 11th World Trade Organisation Summit in Buenos Aires to represent Iran as an official observer country, Islamic Republic News Agency said on December 11.

Iran has repeatedly said that it will consider joining the WTO, but recent protectionist moves by state industries mean an application getting tangled up in non-compliance issues and a rejection. In addition, several US administrations have blocked Iran from moving past the first base of observer status. 

Representatives from the Iranian parliament, Iranian Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade are in attendance at the meeting in Argentina.

An Iranian change of mind on whether Iran should push now to join the WTO came in August when senior government figures stated that they were no longer currently interested in seeking acceptance to the group.

Mojtaba Khosrotaj, director of the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran (TPO), said in August that the country’s priority was to shore up local industries and trade more with regional neighbours.

In 2015 a preferential trade agreement was signed with Turkey and was implemented later that year. Meanwhile, other agreements with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have also begun moving forward in recent months.

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