To propel prospects in World Trade Organization (WTO), Afghanistan took part in the Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting held from 19- 20 March, 2018 in New Delhi.

The two-day meeting was called by India to discuss the possibilities for inclusive growth in trading system which can be benefitted mutually across the region leading to economic growth.

The aim of the meeting highlighted the pressing challenges in the multilateral trading system. The discussion was attended by delegates of more than 52 countries including Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce and Industries, H.E. Humayoon Rasaw took part in the two-day meeting. The Afghan Minister extended his warmly gratitude to India for conducting such a fruitful discussion. During his speech the Minister expressed his views and aspirations of Afghanistan to be the member of WTO in order to achieve economic goals. He further discussed about globally inclusive and transformative agenda 2030 for sustainable development.

With an optimistic approach Afghanistan has ratified Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on 29 July, 2017 becoming the 90th WTO member and the 9th Least Developed Country (LDC) to ratify the agreement. Afghanistan firmly believes that the rules set in the TFA agreement addresses the trade facilitation challenges.

Very importantly, Afghanistan has also structured a framework for the post accession strategy to utilize WTO membership through pro-active participation in the sessions and fulfillment of Afghanistan’s commitments. In order to overcome the challenges of being LDC, Afghanistan aspires to witness the full implementation of LDC’s ministerial declarations, special and differential treatment provisions, implementation of Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) schemes. It is therefore very important for LDC’s to achieve their development goals and increase their share in the global trading system.

India spelt its commitment for the multilateral trading system that covers inclusiveness and consensus and emphasized on seeking collective responsibility for constructive framework to address the challenges in order to achieve the sustainable development goals.

The Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting was also attended by Economic Counsellor Ahmad Shoaib Habibi and Second Secretary Ziaulhaq Akhondzada from the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, New Delhi.

After completion of the work in Turkmenistan, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline’s Afghan section is set to start from today, February 23, 2018, with a groundbreaking ceremony in Herat, Afghanistan.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, H.E. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, H.E. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India M J Akbar.

Followed with the ceremony a statement has been issued by the honorable Presidents and Ministers. A document on ‘Making of TAPI’ was featured during the ceremony too.  

All the four countries collectively presented their approval for the commencement of TAPI project in Afghanistan.

Constructed alongside the Kandahar–Herat Highway in western Afghanistan, TAPI is a significant and most important energy project to elevate economic growth and regional connectivity in the region.  

It is worth mentioning that a high delegation meeting on the same has taken place between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, India and Pakistan at Saleem Cheshma which is bordering Turkmenistan side with Afghanistan.

Envisioning in expanding the air freight corridor to other cities in India, the Kabul-Mumbai cargo was flagged off by Vice President of Afghanistan Mohammad Sarwar Danish on December 27, 2017.

The inception of Kabul-Mumbai air freight corridor is creating positive hope for taking economic ties between India-Afghanistan to an upward trajectory.

H.E Ashok Gajapathi Raju Minister of Civil Aviation, India had expressed India’s interest in expanding air corridor to other cities during the ‘Passage to Prosperity’ exhibition held in September this year.

The Kabul-Mumbai corridor will help expand the export of the Afghan fresh fruits and other commodities. The Kabul side freighted 40 tons of apples and Mumbai exported 40 tons of bananas and tomatoes to Kabul.

Inaugurated by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the first air-corridor between India and Afghanistan was initiated in June this year. The first direct air cargo from New Delhi- Kabul freighted 100 tons of cargo, mainly pharmaceuticals, water purifiers and medical equipment

The current volume of trade between Afghanistan and India is $700 million annually. Keeping in view, Afghanistan’s vision to achieve a target of USD 10 billion in trade between India and Afghanistan over the next five years, Kabul-Mumbai route set lots of expectations in expanding and enhancing trade between the two nations.

The expansion of air freight corridor sets positive hopes for the growth of trade between India and Afghanistan.  Major imports from Afghanistan to India are fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, raisins, vegetables, oilseeds, precious and semi-precious stones, etc.

 

 

In charge of the Economic Section of the Embassy, Ghulam Rabani Nezrabi spoke at the Independent Power Producers Association of India (APPAI)’s 7th year Summit themed “Asia-Middle East Energy Security” held at Karnataka, India from 22nd to 24th February, 2017.

H.E. Shaida Mohammad Abadli spoke at an interactive seminar titled “Seminar on Trade and Investment Opportunities with SAARC Countries” at Federation of Indian Export Organization on January 13th, 2016.

The seminar was organized by FIEO in coordination with the economic section of the Afghan embassy and other missions from SAARC countries in New Delhi. High commissioners of Nepal, Maldives and Pakistan, Business delegates and Indian government officials participated in the seminar.

Mr. Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi, Acting Deputy Chief of the Mission met with Mr. Mithun Barua Deputy Registrar (AS) and Dr. Pawan Taneja from Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) on 6th January, 2016 at the Embassy Premises.

Mr. Barua and Dr. Taneja proposed a one month training programme for the civil service officers of Afghanistan especially for the Public Sector Executives. The programme will be conducted in two slots of 15 days each with extensive training sessions. For the initial 15 days, the training programs will be conducted in India and the second slot of 15 days will be conducted outside India. It means that two weeks training programme will be conducted in India and one week outside India (may be in China ), following with one week in one of the developed countries (May be in France). After completion of the one month’s training program the participants have to give a final presentation of what they have learned, which will take two days.

Further Dr. Taneja said that the training programme has four modules:

  1. Strategic leadership
  2. Corporate Governance
  3. Understanding the economic environment
  4. Understanding the leading environment

Mr. Ahmadi appreciated the initiative and welcomed the idea of conducting leadership programmes to the senior public sector executives in Afghanistan. Regarding the funding aspect of it, Mr. Ahmadi suggested that we can have a joint meeting with MEA and funding can also be done from USAID and UNDP. He also recommended having programmes for the women civil servants in the area of capacity building in Afghanistan and expressed appreciation for India’s continued and undeterred support to Afghanistan

 

Acting Deputy Chief of the Mission Mr. Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi met with Mr. K. K. Kalra CEO of the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals on 6th January, 2016 at the NABH premises.

The objective of the meeting was to provide a baseline assessment of two hospitals, one private and one government hospital in Kabul Afghanistan in the month of January or February 2016.

Mr.Ahmadi gave a brief about the proposal of the Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan for the baseline assessment of two hospitals in Kabul. He presented the TOR (Terms of Reference) to Mr.  Kalra for the assessment and asked them to cooperate in this regard.

Mr. Kalra explained that there are two types of assessment in NABH. One that a hospital has to register and apply separately online and make a separate request for the assessment then all rules and regulations are sent to the hospital and the hospital makes arrangements accordingly, and after that a pre-assessment is done and time is given to fill the gaps and when the hospital is ready then a team of three to four persons visit the hospital for assessment and finally they give the report to the committee members.

The second type of assessment is that without any preparation directly the assessment is done and the report is given and after that the hospital has to fill the gaps according to the report.

Mr. Bhupendra Kumar Rana Joint Director of NABH who was also present in the meeting gave information about the fee structure of the assessment and said that there is the same fee structure of assessment for the hospitals for SAARC Countries as for the hospitals in India.

Mr. Ahmadi in the end assured them to find answers for their queries as soon as possible and also asked them to send a letter regarding the procedure of assessment of hospitals, so that it could be sent to Afghanistan for the review of the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan so that they could make decision as to which type of assessment they would want to have for the hospitals of Afghanistan. 

New Delhi - The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi hosted the first round of "Friends of RECCA" meeting on November 20. This was the second meeting of the Friends of RECCA after Washington DC as part of the Implementation Phase of the Sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), which was held on September 3-4, 2015 in Kabul, Afghanistan.