WIUT had a pleasure of hosting a session with Mr Jovan Jekic, Current Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan on WTO Accession, on the framework of Sustainable Development and Globalization. For the past 15 years, he has worked on donor-funded projects covering areas such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession, business environment improvement, trade facilitation and related institutional capacity building. Mr Jekic has worked extensively in Central Asia on economic development and trade projects. He is a senior attorney with over 35 years of experience in international commercial law, intellectual property, customs rules and procedures, the business regulatory environment, trade, and investment policies.
During the session, Mr Jovan Jekic talked about the WTO, its regulations and, more specifically, the accession process. Mr Jekic also outlined the recent reforms and the current status of Uzbekistan in the accession process. Last year, Uzbekistan completed the first step of the accession process by submitting the Memorandum on Foreign Trade Regimes containing all current trade regulations and laws, which are expected to align with WTO Agreements. Following the establishment of a working group for the accession process, bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral negotiations will take place. The successful conclusion of these negotiations will lead to the drafting of an accession package (“terms of accession/entry”), which needs to be adopted by the accession working group and approved by the WTO's General Council or Ministerial Conference. Students had the chance to ask questions regarding the challenges Uzbekistan is currently facing as a result of the reforms and during the accession process, as well as post-accession when Uzbekistan will become one of the members of the global trade platform.