On 3 December 2019, the WTO announced that Kazakhstan’s application to start negotiating its accession to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) was announced at a meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on 3 December 2019. Currently, 48 WTO members (including the European Union and its 28 member states) are bound by the Agreement. Australia is the latest member to have acceded to the Agreement earlier in 2019. 

The WTO announcement said that Kazakhstan’s WTO membership terms, which WTO members approved in 2015, included a commitment to start negotiating its accession to the GPA within four years of joining the Organization. Kazakhstan was granted observer status by the GPA parties in October 2016. The negotiations will take place based on a market access offer to be provided by Kazakhstan and its replies to a checklist of issues regarding its government procurement legislation. Kazakhstan will host the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020.