Process of Kazakhstan’s accession to WTO at final stage – Zhanar Aitzhanova

ASTANA. March 28. KAZINFORM  Preparation to the accession of Kazakhstan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was discussed at the Government's sitting on Tuesday.

According to Kazakh Minister of Economic Integration Zhanar Aitzhanova, all bilateral negotiations on access to the Kazakh market of goods and services with members of the Working Group on Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO have been finished. Signing of the last protocol on the completion of bilateral negotiations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is scheduled for early April in Riyadh.

In addition, Z. Aitzhanova noted that the Kazakh side continues multilateral talks with members of the Working Group on bringing Kazakhstan's legislation in the field of regulation of trade and economic relations in line with WTO standards.

Currently, the WTO Secretariat's experts are involved in the formation of a   consolidated list of Kazakhstan's tariff commitments. This list should become the ultimate level of import duties that Kazakhstan could apply after the entry into the WTO.

Z. Aitzhanova pointed out the necessity to harmonize the tariff commitments of Kazakhstan and Russia for sustainable functioning of the Customs Union in conditions of separate accession of the CU member states to the WTO.

"During the negotiations on the accession to the service market we faced the difficulty to reach an agreement on preservation of the Kazakh content in the field of subsoil use, entry and temporary stay of foreign workers, access to the market of telecommunications and financial services, " Z.Aitzhanova said.

The Minister stressed that the main achievement in the agreements is that we have managed to assert the requirement to preserve the Kazakh content in the procurement of works and services, as well as the requirement to attract Kazakh personnel, which are set in the subsoil use contracts concluded between the Government of Kazakhstan and the mining companies.

Today, for bringing the tariff policy in line with WTO rules and the Single Economic Space Agreement on the regulation of access to rail transport services Kazakhstan is carrying out step wise unification of tariffs on services of the main railway network in the domestic, import and export sectors. Completion of this work is scheduled for 2013.

In general the process of Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO is at the final stage. In this regard it is important to maximally defend the beneficial conditions for further development of the national economy after the accession to the WTO, taking into account Kazakhstan's obligations under the CU.

On the whole, Kazakhstan has done a lot to bring its legislation in line with the WTO standards. 39 laws were adopted, 26 amendments were made to 21 laws, 2 Customs Union agreements were amended, 13 international agreements were ratified.

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