|Member and observer states of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Map by Evan Centanni, starting from public domain blank map (license: CC BY-NC-SA).|
Kazakhstan Joins WTO
On November 30, Kazakhstan officially became the 162nd member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a global body founded in 1995 to promote the management and expansion of international trade. Kazakhstan was accepted by the organization in July, and membership was ratified by the Kazakh parliament on October 31 (membership takes effect 30 days after ratification). Kazakhstan is the second country to join the WTO in 2015, after Seychelles became a member in April.
More: All PolGeoNow articles on WTO admissions since 2011
| Organization Name: |
• World Trade Organization (English)
• Organisation mondiale du commerce (French)
• Organización Mundial del Comercio (Spanish)
Founded: 1994 in Marrakech, Morocco (commenced in 1995)
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Of the 195 UN-recognized countries in the world, 158 (about 81%) are members of the WTO. Another four members are not UN-recognized nations: the China-administered territories of Hong Kong and Macau, the European Union, and the disputed state of Taiwan, which participates under the name “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)”.
There are also 22 WTO “observers”, down from 23 now that Kazakhstan has become a full member. These observer countries are partially included in the organization, and have all applied for membership (except the Holy See administration of Vatican City, which does not plan to). There are only 15 UN-recognized countries that are neither members nor observers of the WTO.
WTO logo is displayed without permission, based on fair use principles (source).