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Kazakhstan to coordinate Customs Union import duties with WTO

27 january 2014, 13:45
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To join the WTO, Kazakhstan is to coordinate its obligations related to import duties currently in place within the Customs Union [of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus] with the WTO import duties, Director General of the World Trade Organization (DG WTO), Roberto Azevedo, said at the talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan January 24, Tengrinews reports citing a message of the presidential press-service.

Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister for Economic Development and Trade Timur Zhaksylykov earlier announced that the average import duty rate within the WTO is 7.9% higher than that currently in place within the Customs Union.

The sides dwelt on the negotiations on Kazakhstan’s accession into the WTO. President Nazarbayev emphasized that Kazakhstan’s accession is one of the nation’s foreign trade priorities. Roberto Azevedo assured President Nazarbayev that the organization’s Secretariat would render its support to the soonest possible accession.

Tengrinews reported earlier that by the end of 2012, the share of WTO member countries in Kazakhstan’s external trade reached 96.51%; with the European Union's share standing at 41.05% ($54.6 billion), Russia’s at 17.59% ($23.4 billion) and China’s at 16.28% ($21.7 billion).

Kazakhstan voiced its intention to enter the WTO back in 1996. The same year the nation obtained an observer status within the organization.

Kazakhstan plans to enter the WTO in 2014, Tengrinews reported in November 2013, citing Ms. Zhanar Aitzhanova, Minister for Economic Integration, as saying.

“We are still negotiating over subsidies to the country’s agriculture. Accession is only possible after we have agreed on the amount of subsidies in line with Kazakhstan’s mid and long-term plans. Hopefully, it will happen next year”, Ms. Aitzhanova told reporters following her speaking in the country’s Majilis (lower chamber).

“These negotiations are rather complicated. We will be working on technical documents related to accession after they are over”, she added.

“The Government is negotiating over the size of subsidies to the country’s agriculture. The task is to make sure these subsidies are sufficient to ensure further development of the agriculture in the years to come”, she said at the time.

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