The eighth meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Uzbekistan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was held in Geneva on 24 May, the WTO’s press service reported.

Uzbekistan’s delegation was led by Jamshid Khodjayev, deputy prime minister and chair of the Inter-Agency Commission on WTO Accession. The group also included Azizbek Urunov, special representative of the president on WTO issues and chief negotiator for WTO accession, Ahadbek Khaydarov, deputy minister of economy and finance, Alisher Karimov, deputy minister of justice, and Akmaljon Kosimov, deputy minister of agriculture. Officials from a range of ministries and agencies also joined the delegation in Geneva.

WTO members “commended Uzbekistan for its efforts in implementing the necessary reforms for accession and highlighted areas still requiring action”, the statement reads. “Uzbekistan reiterated its commitment to joining the WTO and highlighted the significant transformation underway to facilitate progress,” the organization asserted.

“Uzbekistan remains steadfast in its commitment to joining the World Trade Organization, and we are diligently exerting every possible effort to make meaningful progress,” highlighted Jamshid Khodjayev, with the view to joining the WTO by the 14th Ministerial Conference in Cameroon in 2026.

In his statement, the deputy prime minister called upon the delegates to “invest in and support” the accession process, noting that their “collaboration, expertise, and assistance” were crucial in ensuring the successful conclusion of the accession negotiations.

The chair of the Working Party, ambassador Yun Seong-deok of the Republic of Korea, noted the accelerated pace of the negotiations. “Today, we are meeting just six months after our seventh meeting. A shorter interval between Working Party meetings is a clear indication that our work is advancing at a faster pace. I trust that this is a result of the institutional changes introduced last year to strengthen the management and coordination of the accession process,” he remarked.

Uzbekistan’s accession process formally resumed with the fourth Working Party meeting in July 2020, after which three more meetings took place in June 2022, March 2023 and November 2023.