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.

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