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Wolesi Jirga ratifies Afghanistan’s WTO membership

Wolesi Jirga ratifies Afghanistan’s WTO membership

Jun 18, 2016 - 16:14

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house of parliament on Saturday ratified Afghanistaninfo-icon’s Worldinfo-icon Trade Organization (WTO) membership.

Haji Mohammad Hashim, the house economic commission’s deputy head, said Afghanistan had requested WTO membership in 2001 and the organization gave the country a supervisory role in 2004. The WTO finally accepted Afghanistan membership in 2015, he said.

Hashim added the majority of Wolesi Jirga commissions had agreed with the Afghanistan’s WTO membership as it could be beneficial for the country.

He asked lawmakers to approve Afghanistan’s WTO membership because the move could help Afghanistan enjoy free trade; reduced customs duty and fair competition with developing countries.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) officials say the WTO had set June, 2016 as a deadline for Afghanistan to approve its membership.

ACCI deputy head, Muzammil Shinwari, told today’s session of Wolesi Jirga that four of 27 articles and rules of WTO law had so far been approved by the parliament while 12 draft laws were still under process.

He said resolving problems regarding transit, exports to world market, attracting foreign investment, implementing standards on imports, attracting technical cooperation, building capacity, resolving disputes constructively and gaining trust of foreign investors were benefits of WTO membership.

Shinwari asked lawmakers to approve the country’s WTO membership. Of 151 lawmakers present, 142 approved Afghanistan’s WTO membership.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) which regulates international trade was established on January 1, 1995, to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).


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