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Kazakhstan and the World Trade Organization: Foreign Economic Diplomacy And CIS Integration into the World Economy

March 26 2008
Venue: Hotel Silken Berlaymont, Boulevard Charlemagne 11 – 19, Brussels
Speakers: Ms. Zhanar Aitzhanova, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, KazakhstannRoderick Abbott, Former Deputy Director General of the WTOnArastou Khatibi, Research Associate of ECIPE, Department of Economics at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).nBrian Hindley, Senior Fellow, ECIPE, and lead authornof ECIPE’s new study on Kazakhstan’s WTO accessionnDr. Svante Cornell, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies ProgrammenMs. Signe Ratso, Director Responsible for WTO Affairs, OECD and Food Related SectorsnFredrik Erixon, Director and co-founder of ECIPE
Time: 12:30

This conference will take a comprehensive look at Kazakhstan, its WTO accession and integration into the world economy. Kazakhstan is hailed by the IMF and others as a success story in terms of ‘becoming a globaliser’, but what does this really mean? How might WTO accession facilitate the process and how will Kazakhstan’s choice of strategy affect this politically charged region?

Are we getting closer to the end game of ex-Soviet countries seeking membership in the World Trade Organization to further their integration into the world economy? Kyrgyzstan and Georgia are already members. In early February this year Ukraine finished its WTO negotiations and was accepted as a member. Kazakhstan’s pending accession now seems to be gearing up.

Kazakhstan has been negotiating accession to the WTO for the past twelve years. As for almost all transition countries in central Asia, the long process has reflected the need for Kazakhstan to throw off old command-style economic management. But the commodity boom has also cooled Kazakhstan’s sense of urgency to join the WTO and geopolitical concerns have come into play as Russia has pushed for deepened regional economic integration while neglecting its own accession negotiations.

This conference therefore will take a comprehensive look at Kazakhstan, its WTO accession and integration into the world economy. Kazakhstan is hailed by the IMF and others as a success story in terms of ‘becoming a globaliser’, but what does this really mean? How might WTO accession facilitate the process and how will Kazakhstan’s choice of strategy  affect this politically charged region?

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