Role of Multilateral and Regional Trade Disciplines: Kyrgyzstan's Experience
The paper looks at a five-year experience of the membership of the Kyrgyz Republic in WTO. It provides an analysis of the pre-accession trade policies, the commitments taken by the Government of the country in the accession process and the post-accession record of foreign trade and investments in Kyrgyzstan. The paper considers also regional trade agreements in Central Asia, the extent to which these agreements influence the trade performance and the potential conflict related to the simultaneous membership in WTO and in regional economic cooperation structures. The paper concludes that neither of standard assumptions on consequences of WTO accession holds true with regards to Kyrgyzstan; so far the WTO membership had neutral effect for exports, imports and investment flows. The WTO accession’s main impact on the economy consists in reorienting the Government and businesses from protectionist policies to structural reforms towards increased competitiveness of Kyrgyz produce.