President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Monday emphasized the "opening of new horizons" for Kazakhstan after the Central Asian nation reached an accord to become the 162nd member of the World Trade Organization.
"This fact is historic for us. The main economies of the world have recognized Kazakhstan as a country respectful of the environment and with a trade and investment policy in accord with international law," said Nazarbayev on the Web page of the president's office.
The former Soviet republic requested membership in the WTO on Jan. 29, 1996, and began the process of adjusting its tariffs and customs duties to the organization's requirements.
In the middle of this process, the country joined the Eurasian Economic Union as a founding member along with Russia and Belarus, to be joined later by Armenia.
As a consequence of its integration into the EEU, Kazakhstan had to renegotiate all the accords it had reached previously slowing down the process of joining the WTO.
"Being a member of the WTO opens new horizons for our economy. It provides our companies with access to foreign markets and (provides) consumers with a great variety of products and services," said Nazarbayev.
The former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Belarus and Uzbekistan are among the 21 countries negotiating admission to the WTO.
"The state must comply with international regulations. At the same time, the companies of Kazakhstan have to learn to compete with the WTO's rules," Nazarbayev added.
"We have much work ahead of us. All producers have to get up to date with the world's standards," he said.