Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Astana in summer 2020

Geneva, July 24, 2018 - at the WTO General Council meeting the Member-States of the Organization unanimously voted in favor of holding the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Astana in June 2020.

This decision displays the confidence of WTO members in the economic reforms and liberal trade policy of Kazakhstan, conducted under the leadership of President N.A. Nazarbayev.

Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN Office in Geneva, Ambassador Zh. Aitzhanova said that it is a great honour for a young independent state and recently-acceded member to be hosting such an important meeting. She further stated that Kazakhstan stands ready to contribute to addressing all outstanding issues to secure substantive outcomes at Ministerial Conference.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo thanked the Government of Kazakhstan for the kind invitation and readiness to host the Ministerial Conference and noted that this step is a confirmation of the country's commitment to the values and principles of the multilateral trading system.

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

The most important outcomes of the WTO Ministerial Conference are Trade Facilitation Agreement and the adoption of a prohibition on export subsidies for agricultural products.

Current promising negotiating outcome is the approval of a new discipline governing fishery subsidies. In addition, there are active multilateral discussions on such issues as further reduction of the subsidies in the agricultural sector, trade liberalization in the services sector and regulation of e-commerce.

It is expected that trade ministers of 164 member-states and 20 observers countries to the WTO will participate in the work of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, and the total number of participants of the event will exceed four thousand people.

Created at : 26.07.2018, 21:00, Updated at : 26.07.2018, 21:00