Search

 

Cablegate: Croatia Seeks "Breathing Space" In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000350

SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD HR WTO
SUBJECT: CROATIA SEEKS "BREATHING SPACE" IN
NON-AGRICULTURAL MARKET ACCESS NEGOTIATIONS AS NEWLY
ACCEDING MEMBER OF WTO

REF: A. 2002 STATE 243208

B. 2003 STATE 19378

1. IN RESPONSE TO OUR DEMARCHE LAST FALL (REF A), THE
MINISTRY OF ECONOMY SHARED WITH US THE STATEMENT THAT IT
SUBMITTED TO THE NEGOTIATING GROUP ON MARKET ACCESS (NOVEMBER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00350 141058Z
4-6, 2002), IN WHICH THE GOC ARGUED THAT CROATIA, ALONG WITH
OTHER COUNTRIES WHICH HAD NEWLY ACCEDED TO THE WTO, NEEDED
SOME "BREATHING ROOM" BEFORE IT COULD BE EXPECTED TO TAKE ON
ANY ADDITIONAL REDUCTIONS IN TARIFFS.

2. REF B FOLLOW-UP WAS FORWARDED TO OLGICA SPEVEC, ASSISTANT
MINISTER FOR TRADE AT THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY ON JANUARY
27TH, BUT SHE WAS UNABLE TO MEET WITH US UNTIL FEBRUARY 11.
SPEVEC AND HER ASSISTANT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE, VESNA
FOCHT, REITERATED THE POSITION LAID OUT IN CROATIA'S NOVEMBER
STATEMENT. SPEVEC REPORTED THAT IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK'S
MEETINGS IN GENEVA, CROATIA HAD SPOKEN ON BEHALF OF A GROUP
OF "NEWLY-ACCEDED" COUNTRIES, INCLUDING OTHER CENTRAL AND
EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND JORDAN. THESE COUNTRIES
AGREED THAT THEY WERE BUSY ADJUSTING TO THE VERY AMBITIOUS
COMMITMENTS THEY HAD TAKEN ON AND WERE NOT READY TO MOVE
IMMEDIATELY TO THE VIRTUAL ELIMINATION OF TARIFFS.

3. SPEVEC ADDED THAT IN THE CASE OF CROATIA, IT WAS ALREADY
AMONG THE MOST OPEN COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD, IN TERMS OF ITS
COMPLETE BINDING OF TARIFF LEVELS. ITS AVERAGE BOUND RATE
TARIFFS LEVEL FOR NON-AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS WAS 5 PERCENT,
WITH OVER 99 PERCENT OF ITS TARIFFS BOUND BELOW OR AT 14
PERCENT. IT WAS TIME FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD TO CATCH UP
WITH CROATIA. SHE ALSO NOTED THAT MOST OF CROATIA'S
NEIGHBORS, ASIDE FROM SLOVAKIA AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC, HAD
HIGHER TARIFFS. WHILE SHE RECOGNIZED THE MANY BENEFITS THAT
LOWER TARIFFS HAD BROUGHT CROATIA (WHICH IS EXPERIENCING A
CREDIT AND CONSUMER-LED BOOMLET), THERE WAS ALSO A CONCERN
ABOUT BALLOONING TRADE DEFICITS.
ROSSIN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00350 141058Z

UNCLASSIFIED

>

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>