Belarus: World Trade Organisation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress of negotiations on the potential accession of Belarus to the World Trade Organisation.

Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Belarusian counterpart on the effects of Eurasian Economic Union membership on the economic performance of that country.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Belarus resumed WTO membership negotiations in January 2017 when the WTO Working Party on the country’s accession met for the first time in 12 years. Belarus emphasised that moving forward with WTO accession is a priority for the country in 2017. It has concluded bilateral market access agreements with 10 WTO members to date.

Although a core member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the dividends that Belarus must reasonably have hoped to gain from its membership have not materialised. Trade amongst the EEU countries has fallen: by 11% in 2014 and by 25% in 2015.

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