President Tokayev Meets with WTO Director-General

ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on June 3 in Almaty, reported the Akorda press service.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda

Welcoming Okonjo-Iweala, Tokayev emphasized Kazakhstan’s strong commitment to expanding cooperation with the WTO.

“We are confident that under your leadership, the international multilateral trading system will undergo a profound transformation aimed at eliminating existing trade barriers and creating a level playing field. Your visit to Almaty is extremely important. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you for your close cooperation. It was a great responsibility and honor for Kazakhstan to chair the 12th Ministerial Conference, during which WTO members were able to make important decisions on reforming the organization,” the President said.

Tokayev noted that despite growing global protectionism and trade restrictions, Kazakhstan seeks to strengthen its position as a country with an open economy. At present, Kazakhstan trades with 180 countries. Over the past three years, the volume of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade has increased by 53%, reaching $160 billion.

Tokayev said that he had recently signed a decree on measures to liberalize the economy aimed at strengthening fair competition, protecting freedom of enterprise and reducing government participation in the economy.

Okonjo-Iweala highly appreciated Kazakhstan’s contribution to key decisions in international trade as chair of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.

According to Tokayev, the Central Asia Trade Forum is important for promoting regional economic cooperation, as well as the integration of the countries of the region into the multilateral trading system.

Following the meeting, the President awarded Okonjo-Iweala the Order of Dostyk (Friendship) of second degree for recognition of her services to strengthening the multilateral trading system and the global role of the WTO.

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