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Kazakhstan Accession to WTO
22.09.2011, 16:27

Radio Free Europe

Radio Liberty


June 13, 2009

QOSTANAY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev says his country has suspended talks on membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Speaking at a session of the Foreign Investors' Council in the Kazakh city of Qostanay, Nazarbayev said the talks were suspended because of Kazakhstan’s decision to seek WTO membership together with Russia and Belarus as a single Customs Union.

The prime ministers of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia reached the decision on June 9 to seek joint membership of the WTO.


June 09, 2009

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The European Union's trade chief will analyze the impact of a new customs union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan on Moscow's bid to join the World Trade Organization, her spokesman has said.

"The basic parameters of this customs union...this could create a new situation, which we would first need to carefully analyze to determine the potential impact on Russia's WTO negotiations," Lutz Guellner, spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton, told Reuters.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier that Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan will stop separate negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and begin joint accession talks.


July 18,2009


MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Several other former members of the Soviet Union are interested in joining a customs union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev is quoted as saying.

"I am sure that the customs union will begin operations on January 1. This is a very serious step toward integration and several other members of the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] are already interested," Nazarbayev told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, ITAR-TASS news agency said.

The three former Soviet republics plan to launch the customs union at the start of next year as part of a move to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) together.

Russia surprised the WTO last month when it announced that it would abandon its long-running bid to join the group in favor of a joint application with its two neighbours.

Russia is the largest economy to remain outside the 153-member global trade watchdog.

Nazarbaev did not say which other members of the 11-nation CIS were interested in joining the customs union.


The WTO is a rules-based, member-driven organization — all decisions are made by the member governments, and the rules are the outcome of negotiations among members.




Kazakhstan's Working Party was established on 6 February 1996. Bilateral market access negotiations are underway on the basis of revised offers in goods and services. The latest revision of the draft Report of the Working Party was circulated in September 2006. The tenth meeting of the Working Party was held in July 2008.

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Established: 1 January 1995
Created by: Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94)  
Membership: 153 countries on 23 July 2008
Budget: 189 million Swiss francs for 2009
Secretariat staff: 625
Head: Pascal Lamy (Director-General)

• Administering WTO trade agreements
• Forum for trade negotiations
• Handling trade disputes
• Monitoring national trade policies
• Technical assistance and training for developing countries
• Cooperation with other international organizations 

Ministerial Conferences

The topmost decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.

Accession of Kazakhstan to WTO


Application Received

29 January 1996


Working Party Established
H.E. Mr. Hannu Himanen
(Finland, Oct 2008 —)
H.E. Mr. Vesa Himanen
(Finland, Oct 2003 —Oct 2008)
Mr. P. Huhtaniemi
(Finland, Oct 1998 — Oct 2003)
Mr. Ekblom
(Finland, Apr 1996 — Oct 1998)

6 February 1996



23 September 1996


Questions and Replies

3 February 1997


Meetings of the Working Party

19-20 March 1997
9 October 1997
9 October 1998
12-13 July 2001
13 December 2002
4 March 2004
3 November 2004
1 November 2006
17 July 2008


Recently submitted documentation

(a) Additional Questions & Replies

25 June 2008

(b) Information on agriculture (WT/ACC/4)

18 May 2005

(c) Information on services (WT/ACC/5)

19 September 1997

(d) SPS/TBT checklists (WT/ACC/8)

16 November 2005 (SPS)
16 November 2005 (TBT)

(e) TRIPS checklist (WT/ACC/9)

22 September 2000

(f) Legislative Action Plan

10 July 2008 (General)
25 May 2005 (TRIPS)
30 October 2006 (TBT)
16 November 2005 (SPS)


Market Access Negotiations

Goods Offer

(a) initial
(b) latest

24 June 1997
2 December 2004

Services Offer

(a) initial
(b) latest

19 September 1997
28 June 2004


Factual Summary

9 October 1997
3 September 2004


Draft Working Party Report
latest revision

20 May 2005
25 June 2008


The negotiations on joining World Trade Organization (WTO) of the countries joining Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan), can be renewed in October, 2009, the chairman of the negotiation group, Director of Department of Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Economic Development and Commerce of the Russian Federation, Maxim Medvedkov, said, Kazakhstan Today agency reports citing RIA Novosti.

M. Medvedkov reminded that the Prime Ministers of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan made a decision to notify WTO in June, 2009 that the countries will join the organization as a uniform customs territory. All three countries suspended bilateral negotiations on joining the organization for the period of the consultations on formation of the uniform position of the Customs Union.

"The consultations of the uniform negotiation delegation of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan concerning joining WTO were held in Moscow on September 2-3, 2009. During the consultations, the officials discussed the mechanisms, which will allow continuation of the negotiations on joining the organization. These mechanisms will be submitted for consideration of the next session of the Commission of the Customs Union in Almaty on September 24-25, 2009," M. Medvedkov informed.

As informed earlier, following the results of VII session taken place on August 12 in Moscow of the Commission of the Customs Union, First Vice Premier of the Russian Federation, Igor Shuvalov, informed that the Customs Union created the negotiation group on joining World Trade Organization (WTO) headed by M. Medvedkov. 

Category: Business | Added by: Ann
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