Iran News ...


5/31/05

Iran's agriculture sector not worried about Joining WTO: official

Tehran, May 31, IRNA-An agriculture Jihad official said in Tehran on Monday that given the good capabilities and potentials in agriculture, the sector is not worried about the country joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Deputy Agriculture Jihad Minister Qolamreza Saharian told IRNA that the sector's 25 percent share in the non-oil exports is indicative of its ample capacity to join the world trade body.

He added that along with the need for further improvements in the product quality, the agro-industries should limit their product brands to few names as it is carried out in developed nations.

He said that Iran's agriculture will benefit from joining the WTO.

The sector, notably in production of citrus fruits many kinds of which are already among most competitive products in the international markets, will be ready when Iran formally joins WTO, Saharian underlined.

Meanwhile, Iran's Ambassador to the WTO Mohammad Reza Alborzi is to attend the organization's sessions as an observer member, it was declared last week following the Organization agreeing to start Iran's membership talks.

Some 148 WTO members agreed on Thursday to start talks on Iran's accession to the organization.

Following the decision, Iran's ambassador to the WTO was invited to attend the WTO's General Council which is to be held behind closed doors.

Calling the move as positive, Alborzi said the issue of Iran's membership in the organization had been rejected many times before.

The move opens new doors for expansion of mutual economic cooperation between Iran and the European Union, he said.

For the first time ever the United States of America did not veto Iran's application to join the organization.

Some Western diplomats believe that the move is considered as a remarkable concession (for Iran) as a result of successful talks between Iran and the European Union on the country's nuclear programs.

Alborzi however underlined that there is no deal between Iran and the European Union on nuclear issue and the move should not been viewed as a green light for Iran's accession to the WTO, he said.

Iran's efforts to join the multilateral organization have been stymied 20 times by the United States in recent years.

In December the World Trade Organization agreed to begin accession talks with Iraq and Afghanistan, but the United States again blocked any such negotiations with Iran.

In March in a dramatic U-turn last month, the United States offered to allow Iran to start talks on joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and consider letting it buy civilian airliner parts as part of incentives to Tehran over its nuclear cooperation.

... Payvand News - 5/31/05 ... --



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