At an informal meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Iraq held on 17 November 2017, WTO members welcomed Iraq’s stated determination to resume its WTO accession process after nine years of dormancy. The meeting further provided the opportunity for the government of Iraq and members to exchange views on next steps for that formal resumption in the near term.
Mr Adel Al-Masoodi, Director-General of the Foreign Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Trade and Vice Chairman of the Iraqi National Committee on Accession to the WTO, said:
“We are here with you at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization to assure you that Iraq is fully committed to the process of economic reform and to be part of the global economic system.
“We look forward to opening new horizons for co-operation with the WTO, all international organizations and the international community.“
Ambassador Mouayed Saleh, Permanent Representative of Iraq in Geneva, also spoke on behalf of the Iraqi delegation. He said that Iraq is at the beginning of a long and complex WTO accession process “which will take years“, but he highlighted the firm and unequivocal will of the government and the people of Iraq to move forward and become an integral part of the international economic and trading system, following a very difficult time in Iraq’s recent history.
Indeed, Ambassador Saleh underlined that the main reason that Iraq’s formal accession process had fallen dormant had been the need for Iraq to focus on improving the security situation in the country in recent years.
The Iraqi delegation in Geneva included other high-level officials from the Ministry of Trade, the Council of Ministers, the State Commission for Customs, the Ministry of Planning, and the Central Bank of Iraq.