Over one fourth of people in Kazakhstan don’t know that the country will join the WTO soon

DEMOSCOPE Bureau for Express Monitoring of Public Opinion has conducted a public opinion to find out what people in Kazakhstan think about the plans to join WTO.

1 756 respondents from Astana, Almaty and 14 regional centers of Kazakhstan took part in the poll. 69% of women and 31% of men aged over 18 answered the poll questions by phone and online.

The poll was conducted from 3 to 15 July 2015.

The statistical error does not exceed 2%

On June 22, Kazakhstan finished its 19-year negotiations on Kazakhstan’s entering the World Trade organization (WTO). It means that this December Kazakhstan will become a full member of this international organization. During the time of negotiations, positive and negative aspects of Kazakhstan membership were widely discussed on different levels.

Demoscope Bureau for Express Monitoring tried to find out more of the opinion of Kazakhstan people about the upcoming membership. And as the poll results showed, over one fourth of the interviewed population (26%) doesn’t know anything about the preparation process. While 39% “do know the results of negotiation are positive and understand the idea”. 25% are generally aware, but don’t know the details.

As one of the arguments defending the WTO membership, the people mentioned decrease in prices on imported goods. 32% of the respondents think the prices will go slightly down, 20% are sure the prices will remain the same, 18% feel more optimistic and wait for the prices to go down significantly. 17% of the interviewees have no doubts that the prices will go up.

Within the poll, the people were also asked about opportunities the domestic manufacturers will have after Kazakhstan enters the WTO. 27% of the respondents think the membership will open doors to new markets. On the other side, 25% are sure the home made products won’t be able to compete. 24% of the interviewees mentioned that Kazakhstan’s entering the WTO will force domestic manufacturers to optimize costs and cut prices.14% suggested that the situation will not change anything.

In four years Kazakhstan should open access to state purchases for the WTO member countries. 28% of the respondents said that this step will facilitate competition and therefore the quality of services provided through state purchases process. 28% of the interviewees are sure that the measures will have a negative impact on domestic players are they will not be able to compete against foreign prices and quality. 20% felt more optimistic mentioning that open access will make the process of state purchases transparent and honest. Finally, 14% of the respondents think that nothing will change dramatically.

During several years after Kazakhstan enters the WTO, home market will be opened to international tourism operators, banks, insurance companies and etc. 58% of the respondents are waiting for positive changes in the market that will make business services more client-oriented (16%), lower prices and higher quality of services (23%), and creation of new work places for Kazakhstan people (19%). While 19% of the interviewed people are sure that if the market is opened for foreign companies, domestic organizations will be forced out. 23% think the situation will be easier to understand after foreign companies start to work on Kazakhstan market.

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