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Kazakhstan | Brussels, 22 June 2015

European Commission welcomes conclusion of negotiations on Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO

The EU has welcomed today the conclusion of negotiations for Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO. By approving the terms of accession, the Members of the dedicated Working Party have brought to an end a 20-year long process.

The EU played a critical role to ensure this long-standing goal can eventually be reached and now looks forward to a unanimous political endorsement by the WTO General Council in due time. The decision taken today should allow Kazakhstan to participate in the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in December this year as full-fledged member of the multilateral trading system.

According to the agreement on the terms for the Kazakh accession to the WTO, Kazakhstan will fully apply WTO provisions without resorting to any transitional periods, except as regards the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures. In line with the accession package, Kazakhstan has taken a broad range of commitments to open up its trade regime in the areas of tariffs, export duties and services and to speed up its integration in the world trade system.

The accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO is significant not only from a multilateral perspective but also for our bilateral economic relation. The WTO accession is expected to give it a major boost that should translate into a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the EU.

EU-Kazakhstan facts and figures

  • The EU-Kazakhstan bilateral trade and economic relations have been growing steadily since 2002.
  • The EU has progressively become Kazakhstan's first trade partner, with almost 40 % share in its total external trade. Kazakhstan's exports to the EU are heavily dominated by oil and gas which account for more than 80 % of the country's total exports. Exports from the EU are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, as well as products within the manufacturing and chemicals sectors. Imports from Kazakhstan substantially exceed EU exports to Kazakhstan.
  • Kazakhstan's importance as an oil and gas supplier to the EU is growing. Kazakhstan has benefited from very strong Foreign Direct Investment flows in recent years, largely to its booming oil and gas sector. Almost half of the Foreign Direct Investment inflow originates from the EU.

For further information

Statement by the EU Ambassador to the WTO

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