Kazakhstan WTO membership comes one step closer

Kazakhstan WTO membership: At a meeting in Geneva yesterday attended by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the World Trade Organization’s General Council  formally adopted terms for  Kazakhstan’s entry  into the WTO. Kazakhstan now has until 31 October 2015 to ratify the deal.
“Together, we have done quite an impressive job,” President Nazarbayev said, addressing the meeting. “We are sincerely grateful to each of the WTO Member States for their constructive approach and support throughout a very tough negotiation process. During the negotiations of our accession to the WTO, the configuration of Kazakhstan’s economy has changed dramatically. Today, we are doing business with 185 states of the world.
“Over the past years, we have come a long way to integrate Kazakhstan’s economy into the global market. We have proceeded to implement ambitious institutional reforms. They include further development of international economic cooperation. Effective implementation of the reforms will help to shape a brand new institutional environment. Kazakhstan will soon start working under WTO rules. Yet for a long time now, we have been shaping our economic policies in the spirit of the WTO, by removing barriers, acting as an engine of regional integration and promoting the principles of open collaboration.”
Kazakhstan has agreed to lower import tariffs and take further steps to attract more foreign investors. However, Kazakhstan’s domestic industrial and agricultural production levels remain relatively weak, as the country mainly relies on its oil revenue and experts say domestic firms may struggle if the market is flooded with foreign goods once the WTO terms are implemented.
The negotiations on Kazakhstan’s membership took almost 20 years and were finalized on June 10, 2015.