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Afghanistan is trying to gain membership to WTO

in Afghan Business

Afghanistan is trying to gain membership to WTO

Afghanistan Ministry of Commerce and Industries is hoping to achieve membership to WTO by 2014.

The Ministry had to meet some of the WTO requirements such as improving tax payments and providing opportunities for international investment in order to be able to join WTO.

“Afghanistan has answered to the questions of WTO and is able to answer more questions. We are competing with the rest of the world and we are exporting. The country is very favorable for investment. We are hopeful to obtain the membership by 2014,” said spokesperson Waheedullah Ghazi Khail.

WTO has handed in 160 questions that must be answered by Afghanistan.

Having better commerce regulations, competing of domestic products with neighboring products, lowering custom tariffs, and developing auspicious climate for foreign investment are some of the major conditions for WTO membership.

Improving life standard, economic status and exploitation of resources are the major goals of WTO.

The question lies here, whether Afghanistan is able to meet all the requirements and fulfill the conditions of WTO?

Saifuddin Saihood, Professor at the School of Economics in Kabul, responds to the question:

“Afghanistan can have hold of raw materials and minerals which makes it easy for Afghanistan to enter the business into a global trend; however, Afghanistan does not yet have the capacity and facilities to meet WTO’s other requirements like lowering tariffs and accepting a free and open market.”

A number of economists believe that competing with neighboring countries on production in accordance with the conditions laid out by WTO will get the country in a serious problem by increasing unemployment whose figures are already rising.

Afghanistan began its discussion on the country’s accession to the International Trade Organization in the years 2010 and 2011.

Though it can be said that Afghanistan joining WTO may make international investment smoother in the country, some experts say that it will not be useful for Afghanistan to bond with WTO until unless Afghanistan becomes a productive country.

Membership to WTO is not an easy task. Countries like India, Russia and Pakistan have been struggling for years to gain the membership.

However, it is said that the presence of natural resources in Afghanistan and the West’s eye on the country can make it easier for Afghanistan to be bonded with WTO.

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Afghanistan joining WTO

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