Kazakhstan became 162th member of WTO
Kazakhstan, a member of the Russia-led economic blocks became 162th member of World Trade Organization (WTO). Kazakhstan’s entry has ended its long wait of 20 years to become a member of WTO as its accession talks were initiated in 1996.
The agreement of accession was signed between the WTO Director General Robert Azevedo and Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev at Geneva.
The final accession will be done when the membership agreement is ratified by Kazakhstan Parliament on 31 October 2015.
The path of Kazakhstan to become WTO member was difficult because of the complexity of process and it is also a member of two economic blocks led by Russia;
- The Eurasian Economic Union, which has member nation like Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
- Customs Union, which has members like Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Advantages for Kazakhstan:
The economy of Kazakhstan is still dependent on resource-based income; the accession will help it to diversify its trade in other sectors and to strengthen its economy.
The foreign trade:
Kazakhstan currently trades with 185 countries and after being the WTO member its trade will spread on much larger canvas.
Kazakhstan’s trade is mainly directed toward European Union that accounts share of more than 54 per cent in its foreign trade. Other sizeable partners in trade are Russia, the United States, China, Canada and some other countries.
Being the WTO member Kazakhstan economy will become stronger and more liberal; as its trade was more prominent with post-Soviet states in mid 1990s.
Big advantage for regional trading groups like the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union as its WTO membership will be helpful for bilateral relations in the sectors that are not regulated by the Economic Union agreements.
Note: The 161st nation to become member of WTO was Seychelles and the next country from the Eurasian Economic Union taking steps towards its accession to the WTO is Belarus, which is expected to happen in near future.