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Afghanistan, EU sign deal on WTO accession

Afghanistan, EU sign deal on WTO accession

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Feb 10, 2014 - 19:56

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon and the European Union (EU) on Monday signed a deal concluding their bilateral negotiations on Afghanistan’s accession to the Worldinfo-icon Trade Organisation (WTO).

Deputy Minister of Trade Muzamil Shinwari and EU Ambassador Angelos Pangratis signed in Geneva the deal that provides for lower tariffs and export duties for goods and for opening up services markets once Afghanistan joins the WTO.

A statement from the EU said accession to the WTO was expected to make a lasting contribution to the process of stabilisation, economic reform and sustainable development in Afghanistan.

“I'm convinced that WTO membership will help Afghanistan's stabilisation and economic development,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

The EU hoped to welcome Afghanistan into the WTO family soon and to see it playing a full part in the rules-based multilateral trading system.

In 2012 Afghanistan imported €935 million EU goods while exported €56 million goods to the Union. Afghanistan mainly supplies the EU market with skins, leather products and fruits/nuts.

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