On December 9, 2017 Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the WTO, Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova participated in the 6th China Round Table on WTO Accession in Buenos Aires, which took place one day before the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference.
China Round Table is a joint initiative of the WTO Secretariat and the Government of China, which serves as a platform for exchange of WTO accession experiences and post-accession practices.
While each accession is unique, acceding countries can find common patterns and use experiences and knowledge of newly acceded WTO Members to their needs to defend their national interests and use them for development of their negotiation strategies and tactics.
Since establishment of the WTO, 36 countries became WTO Members, 21 countries are still awaiting this quite challenging accession process.
The theme of the meeting was “Strengthening the Rules-based Multilateral Trading System and Building a Network to Promote Accessions". The following high-level officials, as Chaiperson of 11th Ministerial Conference, Mrs. Susana Malcorra, Director General of the WTO, Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Minister of Commerce of China, H.E. Mr. Zhong Shan, Deputy Assistant USTR, Ms. Cara Morrow, Director of WTO Affairs European Commission, Mr. Denis Redonnet, as well as the Chief Negotiators on WTO accession of the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Republic of Belarus and other countries participated in the round table.
Ambassador Aitzhanova made a presentation on Kazakhstan's WTO accession, noting its complexity and uniqueness. Kazakhstan's Chief Negotiator underlined effectiveness of conducting internal reforms in the country aimed at economic and trade liberalization. She underscored the importanceof intra-governmental coordination in order to bring national legislation and its enforcement practices in line with the WTO rules. Uniqueness and complexity of the Kazakhstan's accession negotiations was due to the fact our country was acceding the WTO while being a member of another integration union – Customs Union along with Russian and Belarus. Thus, Kazakhstan had to coordinate WTO accession terms with the other Customs Union Members, that, in its turn, was an unprecedented experience since the establishment of the Organization. In conclusion, Kazakhstan supports the creation of Accession Negotiators Network, which will provide technical assistance to the WTO acceding countries during their negotiation processes.