A ceremony of signing of the Protocol on Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO was held within the sitting of the General Council of the WTO.
The document was signed by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Director General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo.
After signing of the document R. Azevedo handed over the sign "Kazakhstan" to the President as a new member of the organization.
- Kazakhstan has completed the process of the accession to the WTO, President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev informed at the sitting of the Permanent Council of the WTO held in Geneva.
"Dear countries representing the WTO, ladies and gentlemen! It is a historic moment for Kazakhstan. Having signed the Protocol on joining the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization Kazakhstan completes the process of the WTO accession. In total, as it was noted here, it's been almost 20 years since we began talks on joining the WTO," N. Nazarbayev stressed.
The President noted that Kazakhstan was ready to hold these talks even longer if necessary.
The Head of State expressed the gratitude to all WTO countries that Kazakhstan held talks to for their constructive approach, support during a complicated negotiations stage, and to the Secretariat of the WTO and its Director General Roberto Azevedo.
The international financial center in Astana will become a special economic zone with unique preferences, President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev informed at the sitting of the Permanent Council of the WTO held in Geneva, Kazinform correspondent Marlan Zhiembai reports.
"The economy of Kazakhstan has changes during the time we held talks on the WTO accession. First of all, it has become stronger and more transparent. The per capita GDP has increased 18 times and rose to the level of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The volume of foreign trade reached 120 billion US dollars. Over 90 percent of our external trade falls at the WTO member states. The geography of our relations expanded greatly. In the mid-90s Kazakhstan had trade relations with the post Soviet Union countries only, but now we trade with 185 world countries. The main economic partners of Kazakhstan are the members of the European Union and account for more than 54 percent of the external trade of Kazakhstan. Such countries as Russia, China, USA, Canada and other countries contribute to development of foreign trade of our country immensely," the President stressed.
He also noted that the structure of the economy had changed a lot over the recent 20 years. More than 54 percent of the GDP is endured by the service sector. Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources, but the structure of the economy has to be changed to reduce dependence on primary resources.
The President also emphasized that liberalization of financial services within the WTO would be held along with establishment of the international financial center in Astana, which was planned to be an analogue of the center in Dubai. It will be functioning in accordance with the British law and in the English language. It will be a free economic zone with special conditions.
Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will inevitably lead to sweeping reforms in Kazakhstan, Director of Accessions Division of the organization Mr. Chiedu Osakwe told to the official ceremony of Kazakhstan's entry into the WTO.
"This is a huge day for Kazakhstan as well as for the President of your country. Serious decisions have been made ahead of the country's accession to the WTO that will inevitably lead to sweeping reforms in Kazakhstan and make its economy better. The WTO member states welcome every ascending country, including Kazakhstan," Mr. Osakwe noted.
In his words, during the negotiation process the Kazakh side and especially President Nursultan Nazarbayev displayed a great deal of competence and flexibility.
Kazakhstan's negotiations with the WTO ended on June 10 and Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the nation on the occasion on June 22 calling it a historic event.
World media monitoring