CIS free trade agreement doesn't envisage any limits for Armenia

Gagik Kocharyan:

CIS free trade agreement doesn't envisage any limits for Armenia

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) signed a free trade agreement on October 18, 2011. The document, which is meant to replace a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements, was signed by all the CIS member states except Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which can, anyway, join it later. Head of the department of trade and market management at the Armenian Ministry of Economy Gagik Kocharyan commented on the deal in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.

Please, comment on the advantages of the free trade agreement Armenia has joined.
The agreement allows our entrepreneurs to have one single document with all exceptions and demands listed in it. Moreover, it offers the order of dispute appeal in case of violation of any provision of the agreement which is in line with the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) procedures. The document also contains the rates of customs duties for a range of goods not envisaged by the agreement, which states that dues can be revised only to be lowered. One of the most important factors is that all relations between the signatories will be regulated by the norms of the WTO of which Armenia is a member.

Does this agreement create any obstacles for the signatories to join other treaties?
No, it doesn't. Armenia is currently negotiating conclusion of a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and these two agreements will offer Armenian manufacturer wider export opportunities.

Does this agreement suppose any limitations for Armenia?
As of today, Armenia has free trade agreements with all CIS countries, except for Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. The goods imported from CIS countries are exempted of customs duties. Thus, there will be no changes as regards customs duties. Besides, the agreement lowers export duties for some Armenia-bound goods allows importing raw materials at a less price. Nevertheless, Armenia will impose duties on imported tobacco products, what is done for development of tobacco cultivation in the republic.

How will an ordinary consumer benefit from the agreement?
Domestic products made of imported raw materials which were exempted of customs duties will be sold a lower price, what will help increase market competition.

When will the document ratified and take effect?
Given the fact that the agreement will have no impact of national budgets, I think is can be ratified by the middle of 2012.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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