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DG Azevêdo welcomes Kazakhstan’s ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in Astana
DG Azevêdo met with Prime Minister Karim Massimov and was presented with Kazakhstan’s formal instrument of acceptance of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which will take the total number of ratifications so far to 80.
The Director-General said:
“Kazakhstan is one of the newest Members of the WTO, and has already become an active participant in the multilateral trading system. After undertaking extensive reforms during the membership process, the country is now seeking to integrate further into the global economy. I have been pleased to hear how the government is taking this work forward by improving its transport and logistics infrastructure, while also working to improve its soft infrastructure to ensure that the country is a good place to do business.
“The WTO will continue to support Kazakhstan as it pursues its economic goals, and seeks to join global trade flows. One important step here will be implementing some of the major reforms to the trading system that the WTO has agreed over the last two years — including the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which will reduce Kazakhstan’s trade costs by up to 15% and help to facilitate the flow of goods along the 'New Silk Road'. I was therefore delighted to receive the country's ratification of the Agreement from Prime Minister Karim Massimov earlier today.
“We can also support Kazakhstan by delivering more trade agreements in the future. The debate on how the WTO can keep delivering and precisely what issues should be discussed has already started — and I can’t overemphasize how important it could be. Kazakhstan has a chance to ensure that action is taken on the issues that matter most to the country.”
The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol.
Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report 2015. The Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.