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Kazakhstan Clinches Deal To Join WTO After 20 Years Of Talks

  • RFE/RL

Kazakhstan has finished negotiating the terms of a deal to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), capping 20 years of efforts to take part in the world of mainstream commerce.

The country's WTO accession package will go for final approval before WTO members on June 22.

"I congratulate WTO members and the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the historic step taken today," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said on June 10. "I look forward to welcoming Kazakhstan to the WTO.”

Ambassador Vesa Himanen of Finland, who chaired the WTO working party that negotiated the deal with Kazakhstan, said it was "one of the most challenging negotiations in the 20-year history of the organization."

The deal was particularly complex and unique because Kazakhstan had to make tariff adjustments to take into account its terms of trade with Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, he said.

Kazakh Economy Minister Zhanar Aitzhanova led the negotiations on behalf of his country.

With reporting by TASS