Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev finalizes accession to WTO27 july 2015, 23:24
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed a protocol for Kazakhstan to join the WTO, according to akorda.kz, his official website.
President Nazarbayev is in Geneva to attend a sitting of the General Council of the WTO. President emphasized that “for the 19 years of negotiations the nation’s economy has drastically changed (…) It has become stronger and more open. The country’s GDP per capita has grown 18 times, reaching the level of Central and East Europe. The foreign trade figure reached $120 billion. WTO member states are responsible for 90% of the foreign trade turnover (…) the geography of foreign trade has substantially expanded. Back in the 1990ies we mostly partnered with post-soviet states, whereas today trade ties have been established with 185 states of the world”.
According to President Nazarbayev, “active cooperation with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will be the next step to take (…) including through the country program launched in 2015”.
“We have been pursuing a policy driven by WTO norms for quite a while (…) Kazakhstan has been removing barriers, promoting integration in the region, advancing open cooperation. A major principle of the WTO is to facilitate discrimination-free trade among its member states (…) the policy of sanctions currently in place does not differentiate between economy and politics, hampering trade, and does not comply with the WTO norms. Our joint task is to prevent such things from happening”, he said.
According to Ambassador Vesa Himanen of Finland, Head of the working group on Kazakhstan’s accession into the WTO, elaborated that during the talks Kazakhstan had adopted over 50 new laws, amended 10 international agreements within the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.
“Progress reached in legislating (…) accelerated the work to join the Organization (…) the package of documents Kazakhstan has passed strengthens access to markets, renews the rules of multi-party trade and strengthens the Organization”, he said.
In his turn, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo emphasized that “it’s a ground-breaking day both for Kazakhstan and the WTO. Advantages of the WTO membership include creation of new jobs, opportunities for growth of people’s income, improvement of living standards. For Kazakhstan, the accession implies recognition of efforts and achievements of the recent years. It is a natural result of a blanket reform program, a sign that Kazakhstan is truly open to business (…) at the same time the accession brings the Organization closer to the heart of Central Asia”.