11 Nov 2010 13:28

Kazakhstan plans to end WTO talks with EU, U.S. by yearend - minister

ASTANA. Nov 11 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan intends to finalize negotiations on its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) before the end of this year, Kazakh Economic Development and Trade Minister Zhanar Aitzhanova told reporters in Astana on Thursday.

"Hopefully, negotiations will be over by the yearend," she said.

"Negotiations with the European Union on access to the commodity market, which had been held for many years," ended during a Brussels visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in late October, she said. "This means we have agreed on the level of import duties Kazakhstan will levy after the admission to WTO," she said.

"As for access to the service market, technical negotiations are over and we are waiting for a confirmation of the approval by all the 27 EU member states," the minister said. "The negotiations were about terms on which European banks, insurance, telecom and trade companies would work in Kazakhstan after the entry into WTO."

There is only one item left to coordinate with the European Union, "i.e. the level of export duties on raw materials supplied from Kazakhstan," the minister sad.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan and the United States have ended negotiations on access to the commodity market and export duties.

"There are a number of services left, such as telecom and financial services and mineral development. Negotiations continue," the minister said.

"Terms of Kazakhstan's admission to the WTO are more important than the time of accession," the minister said.