During the plenary session of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Buenos Aires (Argentina) the Head of Kazakhstan's Delegation, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova expressed Kazakhstan's support to strengthening of the Multilateral Trading System, and also reaffirmed our country's commitment to further integration in to global trade in accordance with the policies pursued under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
At the previous Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kazakhstan welcomed a milestone decision on Export Competition and looks forward to its full and timely implementation by Members. Ambassador noted that this issue is of genuine interest to Kazakhstan, since, as part of the accession package, Kazakhstan had to eliminate export subsidies, despite being a landlocked country. Now Kazakhstan is looking for a level playing field.
Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan Zh.Aitzhanova emphasized that despite the lack of consensus on a number of old trade issues of the Doha Round, WTO member-countries should start to look for answers to modern day challenges. This is especially important in a rapidly changing economic environment, since postponing discussions of new topics such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, MSMEs and improvements in transparency requirements can make the WTO irrelevant to modern realities. It has been also noted that Kazakhstan welcomes reinvigorated multilateral negotiations on the development of rules for Domestic Regulation in services.
Moreover, Head of Kazakhstan's Delegation stated that the country is currently pursuing an ambitious Digitalization Program, which would cover all sectors of economy and impact various aspects of social live. Therefore, Kazakhstan recognizes the important role WTO could play in promoting open, transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable regulatory environment for development of e-commerce
The Ministerial Conference is the top most decision-making body of the WTO, which meets once every two years. Its competence includes the adoption by trade ministers of decisions on key areas of the Organization's activities. As a rule, the main objective of the Conference is the achievement by WTO members of agreements on new regulatory norms and rules in the sphere of international trade, as well as, agreeing on a common direction for the future work of the Organization.
The 11th session of the WTO Ministerial Conference is being held for the first time in South America. Also in 2017 the 70th anniversary of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is celebrated.
Peculiarity of the current session of the Conference is due to unprecedented number of political initiatives by the WTO member-countries, related to new trade issues, which indicates an increasing confidence the Member-States place on the WTO as the only multilateral platform for regulating international trade rules.