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Kazakh President Hails Completion Of WTO Accession Talks

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo)

President Nursultan Nazarbaev has hailed the "new horizons" opening up to Kazakhstan after the country completed 20 years of talks on joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Kazakhstan is to formally become the WTO's 162nd member in December after the nation's accession package won members’ final approval in Geneva on June 22.

"This is a historic event for us," Nazarbaev said in a video address to the nation.

The 74-year-old said membership of the WTO would "provide our enterprises with access to foreign markets, and consumers with a wide selection of goods and services."

He added that the government would continue supporting agriculture even after the country becomes a WTO member.

WTO accession talks have been complicated by Kazakhstan’s membership of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, which also includes Armenia and Belarus.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax