Turkmenistan formally applies for WTO membership
Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received on 24 November Turkmenistan’s official application to join the WTO under Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization. It has requested that the application be placed before the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference, taking place from 30 November to 3 December, for consideration and for a decision to be taken.
The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Atageldi Haljanov, underscored in his meeting with DG Okonjo-Iweala that the Government’s decision, supported by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, was driven by Turkmenistan’s strong desire to integrate into world trade and diversify its economy through WTO accession.
Ambassador Haljanov noted that an inter‑governmental commission was established in January 2013 to study the implications of Turkmenistan’s accession to the WTO. Since then, thematic working groups have been created within the government to analyse specific issues related to WTO membership.
The Director-General welcomed Turkmenistan’s historic decision to apply for WTO membership. It is the last former Soviet republic to do so. With a population of 6.2 million people, Turkmenistan is rich in natural resources, mainly in oil and natural gas.
Turkmenistan was formally granted WTO observer status by the General Council in July 2020.