Kazakhstan could join the World Trade Organization by 2012, says Zhanar Aitzhanova, the country's top WTO negotiator.
Kazakhstani officials are now working on finalizing technical details of its bid, said Aitzhanova, who also serves as minister of economic development and trade. While there are some remaining issues like agriculture subsidies and livestock sanitation regulations to be worked out, “on major issues, we don't have problems,” Aitzhanova said at a May 26 news conference at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington.
Aitzhanova was in Washington for negotiations with officials from the US Trade Representative’s office. During those talks the two sides reached an agreement in principle on service market access, she said.
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Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based freelance writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. He is the author of EurasiaNet's Bug Pit blog.