Government • 28 September, 2018

Opening of the Forum on Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development took place in Astana

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The High-Level Forum on Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development: the Eurasian Outlook, organized by the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan in partnership with the WTO Friends in Promoting Investment for Development, began its work in Astana today.

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, as well as world-class experts, including ministers and heads of delegations from 40 WTO member countries and WTO observer countries (from the CIS, the Asia region, Eastern Europe and countries of the Middle East). The day before, the seventh round table on accession to the World Trade Organization took place in Astana September 26-27.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev addressed the participants at the opening ceremony.

In general, the work of the Forum is organized in four thematic sections. The first section is devoted to promoting and increasing trade and investment for sustainable development, competitiveness, growth and diversification of the economy. The second direction is the business opinion on solving complex issues in the field of investment promotion. During the third section, it is planned to exchange experience in promoting investment and innovation. Successful stories and problems at the domestic and regional levels will also be discussed. The work of the fourth session will be held on the theme "Participation in multilateral cooperation for the promotion of investment for development."

During the discussions, a comprehensive and constructive exchange of views will take place on the most varied aspects of the chosen topics. After the event, consideration and adoption of the "Astana Statement" is expected.

The forum is intended to acquaint the WTO members with the investment opportunities and successful experience of Kazakhstan in attracting investments, will open the horizons for expansion of investment activity in the country and will give a new impetus to the further development of multilateral relations of the WTO member countries.

Kazakhstan joined the World Organization in 2015. At the XX formal meeting of the working group June 22, 2015, a package of documents was adopted reflecting the terms of membership of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the WTO. During the meeting of the WTO General Council July 27, 2015, the signing ceremony of the Protocol on Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO took place with the participation of Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Kazakhstan became a full member of the WTO November 30, 2015, after ratification of the package of obligations by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signing of the Instrument of ratification and its transfer to the WTO Secretariat November 1, 2015.

April 7, 2017, Kazakhstan was elected to the post of Chairman of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment. April 2017 Kazakhstan joined the group Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development, in June – the group Friends of E-Commerce for Development. As a WTO member, Kazakhstan is a member of the negotiating group of members of the Organization under Article XII of the Agreement Establishing the WTO and the Asian Regional Group of Developing Countries. March 7, 2018, at the meeting of the WTO General Council, Kazakhstan was elected Chairman of the Special Session of the WTO Council on Trade in Services. May 29, 2018, Kazakhstan made a proposal to hold the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Astana in 2020. During the meeting of the WTO General Council, the member countries of the Organization unanimously voted in favor of holding the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan in June 2020.

The work of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference will be attended by trade ministers from 164 member countries and 20 observer countries of the WTO. The total number of participants will be 4-4,5 thousand people.

The Ministerial Conference is the highest governing body of the WTO, which meets once every two years. The competence of the Ministerial Conference includes the right to take decisions on all issues within the framework of multilateral trade agreements, including the approval of new disciplines governing international trade.

Currently in Kazakhstan there is a consistent improvement of the business environment. The number of necessary permits for business is reduced. Totally simplified procedures for obtaining them.

Since 2016, the "Single Window" principle has been in place for all investors and regional offices have been opened in all 16 regions of the country for servicing investors.

To ensure the dialogue platform of investors with the Government, the Council of Foreign Investors under the President of Kazakhstan have been working for 20 years, the Council for Improving the Investment Climate under the Prime Minister, institutes of the investment and business ombudsman.

In the World Bank's rating on ease of doing business, the Republic of Kazakhstan ranks 35th. In Central Asia – first place in the investment climate. The Kazakh economy became attractive for foreign capital and attracted over $260 billion of foreign investments.

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