Foreign banks will be able to open their branches in Kazakhstan starting from 2020

Foreign banks will be able to open their branches in Kazakhstan starting from 2020. This will become possible because Kazakhstan joined the World Trade Organization in 2015. Astana hosted the 7th roundtable dedicated to the membership in the WTO.

ZHANAR AITZHANOVA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF KAZAKHSTAN TO WTO:

 - After five years since joining the organization, starting from 2020, we will be able to permit the foreign banks to open their offices to provide their services in Kazakhstan. We hope that it will lead to a larger competition in the financial sector that will affect the quality of services provided to the businesses and population and the conditions of providing these services.

The meeting participants discussed the capacities of the Eurasian countries as part of the WTO cooperation. They also exchanged experiences and searched for ways of benefiting from integrational processes.

ALAN WOLFF, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF WTO

The Russian Federation and Kazakhstan although they spent 20 years in negotiations accelerated that process and came in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Generally speaking, the longer the accession process is taking place, the greater the level of obligations that have been undertaken. For landlocked countries in Central Asia, the WTO’s trade facilitation agreement is particularly important in addressing the regions connectivity challenges.

The negotiation process on Kazakhstan’s WTO accession is believed to have been unique. At that time, Kazakhstan was also negotiating cooperation as part of the Customs Union. In the end, Kazakhstan was recognized as the country with a favourable investment climate and effective trade policies aligned with the international law.

MAXIM MEDVEDKOV, HEAD OF TRADE NEGOTIATIONS, RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

 - We discussed almost all aspects related to the accession, including the legal processes. Later, when we decided to establish the Customs Union, we worked together on the Customs Union’s presentation at the WTO and integration of these processes, because we were already adopting the common customs tariffs. We had a lot of work, but I think that it was a success. 

Kazakhstan’s WTO accession will contribute to the increased exports of the Kazakh products. Kazakhstan has a significant potential. Currently, more than 90 per cent of its trade accounts for the WTO member countries. The trading commodities include mining, machine-building, oil and agricultural products.