At a meeting of the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the candidacy of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the chairmanship of the Special Session of the WTO Council for Trade in Services has been approved.
It is underlined that Kazakhstan's chairmanship testifies to the WTO member states' confidence in the reforms aimed at creating a favourable investment climate and developing the services market in Kazakhstan conducted under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Zhanar Aitzhanova, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, said that acceding to the WTO, the country undertook significant commitments to a phased liberalization of the domestic services market for the access of foreign companies to key economic sectors such as financial, telecommunication, and energy services. In this context, during its chairmanship, Kazakhstan will strive to create equal competitive conditions for the newly-joined countries and will facilitate the assumption of obligations to further liberalize the service sector by the original WTO member countries. It should be mentioned that the services market is of utmost importance for the development of the economies of the WTO member countries. For instance, the share of services in the world GDP is 70%. In 2017, the services sector made up over 57% of Kazakhstan's GDP. The Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services is responsible for coordinating the negotiations to further liberalize the conditions for accessing the services market of WTO member countries. In particular, negotiations within the Council cover such issues as the simplification of services trade procedures including permitting and licensing procedures for service providers, regulation of electronic commerce, rules for public procurement and subsidies in the service sector, etc.
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