Technical Assistance and Capacity Building projects
Azerbaijan is actively engaged with international organisations and donors to enhance capacities in the trade-related area. They include the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development.
While there are many actions which have, or are being, implemented that affect tradedirectly or indirectly, information is provided below only with respect to those actions, implemented after 2010, which are directly aimed at supporting trade policy development and implementation, including those supporting WTO accession. Actions will be presented in chronological order, starting with ongoing ones.
This project is being implemented under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy since January 2018 and is expected to last for 24 months. It is implemented by a consortium of companies led by DMI Associates. EKVITA, a local firm, is the other implementer. The project provides two long-term advisers and several short-term experts.
The project is designed to strengthen the development and implementation of trade policy by the Government of Azerbaijan and to support the WTO accession negotiations.
By supporting the Government of Azerbaijan in its trade policy reform efforts and the WTO accession negotiations the project will ultimately contribute to inclusive and sustainable development through trade-led growth and integration in the multilateral trading system.
The purposes of the project are as follows:
- Support the improvement of trade-related legislation in compliance with WTO rules and best practices
- Provide assistance to the WTO accession negotiating team
- Strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Economy and other line ministries
- Support the establishment and operationalisation of the trade remedies unit
- Raise public awareness of trade related issues, including WTO
The main activities of the project are as follows:
- Advice on the development of new trade related legislation and propose improvements to the existing one
- Perform activities required for preparing the negotiations, including on site assistance
- Advice on the operationalisation of, and train, the trade remedies unit
- Organise public awareness activities, including seminars, round tables and publications
The main beneficiary of the project is the Ministry of Economy. The project also supports other line ministries as well as key bodies, including:
- Ministry of Agriculture
- State Agency for Antimonopoly and Consumer Market Control
- Intellectual Property Agency
- State Customs Committee
- Financial Market Supervisory Authority
- Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies
Besides the above target groups, the project is involving the Azerbaijani business community, as well as academy, in project activities.
The following are some of the activities implemented as of end of August 2018:
- Submission of advice requested by the Ministry of Economy and other Governmental bodies on several areas and support for the preparation of materials related to the WTO accession negotiations
- Organisation of a conference on the integration of Azerbaijan in the world trading system
- Re-design of, and provision of content for, the webportal http://wto.az/
- Preparation of documentation to be used in trade defence investigations
More information on specific activities conducted by this project can be found in the “News” section of this website.
Pictures of the launch event and Conference on the Integration of Azerbaijan in the World Trade System, held on June 8, 2018
EU-funded “Strengthening institutional capacity of the Department of Trade Policy and WTO issues of the Ministry of Economy and Industry for WTO accession negotiations and support to the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent to draft Fiche on Twinning for Accreditation Service” project
The project was implemented between September 2015 and March 2017. Its overall objective was to assist Azerbaijan in their WTO accession effort and review of the trade related legislation, resulting in aligning Azerbaijan’s trade regime with WTO rules and disciplines and the best international standards.
The following outputs were achieved:
- Replies to WTO members’ questions were finalised and submitted
- Review of the draft Laws “On State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activity” and “On Anti-Dumping, Countervailing and Safeguard Measures” for WTO compliance was completed
- 20 model documents/questionnaires for implementation of trade remedies and 1 manual were drafted and submitted
- 33 documents were translated from English into Azerbaijani and vice-versa
- Brochure on advantages of WTO membership for Azerbaijan and common misconceptions (click on the image to have access to it) was developed
Assessment report on the readiness of the Republic of Azerbaijan to implement future commitments arising from the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
This project was implemented by the UN Economic Commission for Europe, in 2017. The main purpose of the project was to assess the readiness of the Republic of Azerbaijan to implement future commitments arising from the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and make recommendations thereon.
USAID-funded “Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade (ACT) Project”
The Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade ("ACT") project was implemented between October 2010 and September 2013. It was designed to help eliminate or mitigate technical and administrative barriers that were deemed to be hindering economic progress in Azerbaijan with respect to private sector development. ACT was expected to facilitate or act as a catalyst for change through supportive measures aimed at improving the country’s business enabling and trade environment, while at the same time implementing initiatives designed to enhance the competitiveness of those involved in the agriculture sector.
The ultimate result of ACT’s interventions had to lead to specific indicator targets being met across three component areas:
- Domestic business environment improved
- Liberalized, more transparent trade environment developed
- Targeted agricultural value chains improved
The first two components were largely focused on processes and steps taken towards achievement of an ultimate objective, such as WTO accession.
The project assisted through a wide range of activities, including the development/ improvement of the normative framework (laws, by-laws and lower level acts), harmonisation with international standards and regulations, support on WTO accession-related activities, advice on institutional reform and policy matters, and capacity building.
The project contributed to the preparation of a large number of documents submitted in the context of the WTO accession negotiations, to the preparation of meetings in relation to those negotiations, as well as to taking legal, regulatory or institutional actions to improve the implementation or compliance with international trade and investment agreements.
World Trade Organisation
For acceding countries, the WTO assists inter alia through:
- National seminars and workshops
- Regional courses
- WTO accession round table meetings
- Accessions Internship Programme
- Online courses
Azerbaijan has benefited from various national seminars and workshops on services; goods, including systematization of goods schedule; WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; Information Technology Agreement and trade facilitation issues; and accession.
1A 20160906 Safeguards Questionnaire for Users Not Related to Exporting Producers