Today the final meeting of the Working Group in Geneva announced that the talks on Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation have completed.
This event is of historical importance for us. Kazakhstan will become the 162nd member of the Organisation. All major economies of the world have agreed that Kazakhstan has a favourable investment environment and carries out its trade policy in compliance with international law.
WTO membership opens up new horizons for our economy. This ensures that our companies have access to foreign markets and gives customers access to a large selection of goods and services. Today 90 percent of our bilateral trade is with WTO member-states. Therefore, this decision is very important for us. Kazakhstan is becoming more attractive for both foreign and domestic investors. We get the opportunity to create new industries and jobs.
During the 19 years of the negotiation process, our government and experts have worked hard, defending favourable conditions for us. We have agreed on positions on the most sensitive issues for our economy, which include, among others, support for the agriculture sector. In this regard, the negotiation process was challenging for us due to subsidy-reducing requirements, but we defended our positions, as well as the markets of financial services and telecommunications. We have managed to combine the requirements of the WTO and the EAEU, based on our national interests.
Accession to the WTO is a victory for the whole country, and recognition of Kazakhstan as an integral part of the global economic system. Symbolically, the doors of the Organisation have swung open in front of our country at a time when we are starting to implement the five institutional reforms. The standards of the WTO coincide with the spirit of the reforms: transparency, efficiency and competitiveness.
After joining the WTO, we will not give up supporting domestic enterprises. Now, support measures provided by the state must comply with international rules. At the same time, Kazakh enterprises must learn to compete under WTO rules. I’ve been talking about it, and now is the time when we have to compete with other countries, not only within the EAEU, but on the scale of the WTO. As I have always warned, along with reaping the benefits of joining the organisation, the competition for our country will also intensify. All producers have to catch up to the world level.
Accession to the WTO will contribute to our integration into the world economy, Kazakhstan’s joining the 30 most developed countries of the world and implementation of the Plan of the Nation “100 concrete steps.” We need to prove that we can take advantage of the benefits offered by the WTO. I am convinced that Kazakhstan will succeed, and we will take a worthy place among the leading countries of the world.