How does Kazakhstan see future cooperation with the WTO

Photo by: MFA RK

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the WTO and International Economic Organizations Asset Irgaliyev presented his credentials to the WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, reports.

In the conversation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala highly appreciated the reforms carried out by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on economic liberalization aimed at strengthening fair competition, protecting freedom of entrepreneurship and reducing state participation in the economy.

In turn, the Permanent Representative Kazakhstan Asset Irgaliyev noted that since its accession to the WTO in 2015, Kazakhstan has consistently and actively supported a predictable multilateral trading system.

For instance, Kazakhstan had previously chaired the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, and since 2018 our country is chairing the WTO Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services. Kazakhstan is further committed to facilitating the accession of Central Asian countries to the WTO and representing the trade interests of landlocked developing countries. Moreover, last year Kazakhstan implemented its Trade Facilitation Commitment at 100%.

In addition, during this meeting, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan Irgaliev also handed to the Director-General of the WTO an instrument on Kazakhstan's acceptance of the WTO Agreement on fisheries subsidies.

This agreement contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.6 to reduce harmful fisheries subsidies. It is important to note that subsidies for aquaculture and inland fisheries are excluded from this agreement.

WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iweala emphasised the importance of Kazakhstan's accession to this agreement and noted that the Republic of Kazakhstan, as a landlocked country, makes a significant contribution to the UN goal of reducing harmful fisheries subsidies.

In total, the Republic of Kazakhstan became the 79th WTO member to support the agreement on fisheries subsidies. This agreement automatically enters into force when it is accepted by two-thirds of WTO members, i.e. 109 out of 164 countries. There are no fisheries subsidies in Kazakhstan, therefore, this agreement does not contradict Kazakhstan's legislation on fisheries subsidies.

This WTO Agreement does not apply to the Caspian Sea, given its status as an inland water body with no outlet to the world’s oceans and not subject to international conventions on the law of the sea. The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth with a special legal status, being neither a sea nor a lake.

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