At a meeting of the WTO General Council on 22 July, WTO members agreed to grant Turkmenistan observer status. Turkmenistan, a state in Central Asia with a population of about 6.2 million, thus became the last former Soviet republic to establish a formal relationship with the WTO.

Turkmenistan submitted its request for observer status in May 2020, indicating its intent to initiate negotiations for WTO accession within a period of five years. 

Turkmen ambassador Haljanov thanked members and emphasized the importance of the WTO as the platform for achieving greater integration of Turkmenistan into the global economy and trade.

“The growing trends of economic globalization in the modern world have set for Turkmenistan the task to actively integrate into the world economy and the system of international economic relations,” he said.

Turkmenistan’s representative outlined the concrete benefits that future WTO membership would bring to his country, such as strengthening its foreign trade position and providing guarantees and transparency for investors and trading partners. Turkmenistan will fully seize the opportunities of observer status to familiarize itself with WTO rules and procedures, he added.