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Afghanistan's WTO membership approved at 10th Ministerial Conference


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on December 17, 2015 formally approved Afghanistan’s membership at its 10th ministerial conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Afghanistan has become the 164th WTO member and the 36th least developed country (LDC) to join the global trade body after 11 years of negotiations.

The landlocked Asian country expects to reap the benefits of the WTO membership for its post-conflict reconstruction.For the last decade, we have focused on rebuilding state, academic institutions and the private sector. We request the international community to provide technical capacity to enable Afghanistan to handle the post WTO accession process.Kabul had accelerated domestic reforms in order to woo investment in key sectors of the economy, including transport infrastructure and energy. We are committed to greater fiscal discipline and creation of a favourable environment for trade and investments.

Roberto Azevedo, WTO director general, said Afghanistan’s membership was “an endorsement of the extensive programme of domestic reforms the country has undertaken to accelerate economic growth”.Zou Jiayi, China’s assistant minister for finance, who was attending the WTO conference, said the admission was “a triumph of multilateralism” that inspired developing nations.