Kazakhstan to complete WTO negotiations in H1 2013

Tengrinews, Nov 9, 2012

Kazakhstan will complete its negotiations on accession into the WTO in the first half of 2013, Kazakhstan’s Minister for Economic Integration Zhanar Aitzhanova announced in the country’s Senate.

“As for the WTO, we have completed all the bilateral negotiations with WTO member states. These are around 30 states. The negotiations were about access to the Kazakhstan’s markets for goods; about maximum customs duty rates applicable following Kazakhstan’s accession into the organization; (…) As for the timeframe, we plan to complete all the negotiations in the first half of 2013. The final dates will depend on agreements in agriculture and in some other industries”, Ms. Aitzhanova said.

She elaborated that the negotiations are not complete as parties haven’t agreed on subsidies to the country’s agriculture.

“There are two complicated issues to be solved. One of them is about subsidies to the agriculture”, she said.

She assured that the accession will have no negative effect on domestic producers. “As for imports of agricultural products, the customs duty will stand at 13.2%, whereas the national tariff prior to the accession stands at 12.1%”.

She also noted that since 2010 there has been a single customs duty rate within the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. Given different obligations of Russia and Kazakhstan with regards to imported goods [applicable customs duties], there is a need for further negotiations with WTO member states to have duty rates concerted.

“We believe following the negotiations, the single customs duty rates on imported goods will be closer to that of Russia’s customs duty rates [which are higher than Kazakhstan’s]. Therefore there’s not going to be a huge inflow of European goods reportedly more competitive in terms of price as compared to domestically produced goods”.

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