WTO reform issues were discussed at the Astana Economic Forum

On May 16, 2019 within the framework of the XII Astana Economic Forum and with the assistance of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, a session was organized on the topic “Current systemic challenges confronting the multilateral trading system: possible solutions and adaptation to the new realities".

The multilateral trading system today is faced with unprecedented challenges in the form of unilateral trade restrictions and retaliations on the backdrop of an exceptional increase in protectionist measures that restrict the import of goods on the world market.

During the session, participants exchanged views on how to improve the work of the WTO in three main areas: monitoring of trade policy; dispute settlement mechanism; development of new WTO rules to ensure compliance of trade rules with current realities of the world economy.

Trade policy experts such as Junichi Ihara, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, David Walker, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the WTO, Victor Do Prado, Director of the WTO Trade Negotiating Committee, Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service, Ekaterina Mayorova, Director of the Department for Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Mark Linscott, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center, Michael Hahn, Professor at the University of Bern; Director of the Institute for European and International Economic Law;, as well as a number of renowned international experts in the field of economy, trade and WTO law.

During the panel session Vice-Minister of National Economy Madina Zhunusbekova noted that Kazakhstan strongly supports the idea of WTO reforms, and also believes that these reforms should ensure level playing field for all WTO members. At the same time, the Republic of Kazakhstan also actively participates in the promotion of new initiatives, in particular, on e-commerce, domestic regulation of services and investment promotion.

In conclusion, Kazakhstan expressed the hope that the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference, which will be held in Nur-Sultan in June 2020, will help strengthen member states' confidence in WTO, preserve the relevance of the Organization and address all current systemic challenges of the multilateral trading system.

Created at : 17.05.2019, 11:10, Updated at : 17.05.2019, 11:10