8 June 2005

Chairman cites encouraging progress in Kazakhstan talks

The Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of Kazakhstan Amb. Vesa Tapani Himanen on 7 June 2005 cited the circulation of the first draft report as “a clear signal that this accession has taken an important step forward”. He said progress would not have been possible without key domestic reforms and the enthusiasm of the Kazakh negotiating team.

Amb. Himanen urged Kazakhstan to submit revised offers and update information on legislative developments to help accelerate the accession process. He stressed that “bilateral market access negotiations need to accelerate quickly to keep pace with the newly advanced phase of our multilateral work”.

Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Mrs. Zhanar Aitzhanova, head of the Kazakh delegation, said that her Government — with the enactment of new laws since the last meeting (November 2004) — has made significant progress in aligning national legislation with the requirements of key WTO agreements. She said this shows “the political will and commitment on the party of Kazakhstan to the accession process”.

On Kazakhstan's request to hold the next meeting in October 2005, the Chairman said he would consult with delegations, noting that the schedule would depend on the availability of the required documentation and progress in the bilateral negotiations.