Saturday, June 11, 2005

Iran News - Iran's Shariatmadari optimistic about WTO entry

Iran News - Iran's Shariatmadari optimistic about WTO entry: "Iran's Shariatmadari optimistic about WTO entry

Saturday, June 11, 2005 - ©2005 IranMania.com

LONDON, June 11 (IranMania) - Iran's Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said that no country would be able to impose economic sanctions on Iran, once the Islamic state joins the World Trade Organization (WTO), stressing that WTO accession calls for greater consensus among officials, Iran Daily reported.

"With Iran's presence in the World Trade Organization, no country would impose an economic embargo on us," he said, adding that the country has to strive to eradicate poverty through greater global interactions.

The minister told Fars news agency that Iran's WTO negotiating team would be made up of representatives of the country's plenipotentiary office at the WTO as well as representatives of top economic organizations in order to achieve concrete results.

Rejecting speculations that WTO entry would have a negative impact on the industrial sector, the minister said national industries could compete at the international level once the country becomes a WTO member.

"The greatest opportunity which WTO accession would offer the national economy is to help Iranian producers enter international markets," he said, adding that the production sector currently suffers from high tariffs at the international level.

He said while Iranian textile industry has to pay up to 25 percent tariffs on exports to European countries, Turkey does not pay more than five percent.

Not all economic experts in Iran are optimistic about prospects of WTO entry leading to an improvement in industrial sector with some even warning of a possible collapse of national industries and worsening unemployment.

Former minister of economic affairs and finance, Tahmasb Mazaheri, said earlier it would take at least three to four years to gain full membership of the World Trade Organization, stressing that it is quite unlikely for Iran to manage to complete the procedures any sooner under the circumstances.

"If we fail to create a professional (WTO negotiating) team, we would suffer heavy losses," he said, adding that the people have to be kept informed of the results of WTO talks.

Experts believe that most of the existing economic and trade laws will have to change following the World Trade Organization's decision to begin accession talks.

The World Trade Organization agreed to start accession negotiations with Iran last month after the US dropped its long-standing veto."

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