DUSHANBE, January 9 (RIA Novosti) – The lower house of Tajikistan’s parliament ratified an agreement on the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday, concluding Dushanbe's drive to join the trade body.
Tajikistan was admitted to the WTO last December, becoming only the second Central Asian nation, after Kyrgyzstan, to do so. In order for the accession agreement to enter into force however, it had to be ratified by Tajikistan’s Assembly of Representatives.
The country's Economic Development and Trade Minister Sharif Rakhimzod said on Wednesday his country’s accession “will certainly facilitate the appearance of Tajik goods in world markets and improve investment attractiveness.”
Tajikistan first applied for WTO membership in 2001, promising to enact reforms to open up its economy.
"Foreign investors will be reassured by the applicability of the WTO’s familiar and predictable rules-based system and will know that Tajikistan is now 'open for business,'" WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said in a statement last month while welcoming Tajikistan to the trade body.
The poorest country in the former Soviet Union, Tajikistan's business climate has been mired by allegations of pervasive official corruption and the influence of a bustling drug trade from neighboring war-torn Afghanistan.