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Kazakhstan | Geneva, 27 July 2015

European Commission welcomes Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization

The European Commission today welcomed the WTO General Council’s decision to approve the accession of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Organization. Once the accession procedure is completed, Kazakhstan will become the 162nd member of the WTO.

European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, greeted the news saying ‘Kazakhstan has worked hard to prepare for WTO membership and to make the changes needed in its domestic legal and regulatory system. The EU has strongly and continuously supported Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO and the country's determination in its commitment to open trade and investment is rewarded today.’

Kazakhstan's WTO accession process has lasted 20 years. The EU has played a very important role in this process, being at the forefront in developing innovative and creative solutions to pave the way for Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO.

Background

At the meeting of the WTO General Council held on 27 July 2015, WTO members have formally approved the terms for the accession of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the organization. This comes after 20 years of negotiations, which began when Kazakhstan submitted its application to join the WTO in 1996.

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 undertaken 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.
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.

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