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Afghanistan joins WTO

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Afghanistan has finally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a full member after 11 years of negotiations.

The WTO has approved the membership of Afghanistan on Thursday at its 10th ministerial conference in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. After 11 years of negotiations Afghanistan has become the 164th WTO member and the 36th least developed country (LDC) to join the global trade body, Xinhua reported.

Afghanistan said the membership would boost its national economy and build peace.

During the ceremony for the accession, the first deputy chief executive Mohammad Khan confirmed the commitment and said the country will benefit from the membership, adding the membership will reduce poverty and would ensure lasting peace and stability in the war-hit country.

He further said that for the past one decade Afghanistan has been struggling to rebuild sate, private sectors and education system. He called on the international community to grant technical assistance to enable Afghanistan to handle the post WTO accession process.

He said that Kabul had increased domestic reforms in a bid to woo investment in vital sectors of the economy, including transport, infrastructure and energy. He said that the country would improve the economical discipline and will create a suitable environment for trade and investments.

Roberto Azevedo, WTO director general, said that Afghanistan’s membership was “an endorsement of the extensive program of domestic reforms the country has undertake to accelerate economic growth”.

Zou Jiayi, China’s assistant minister for finance also attended the conference and said the admission was “a triumph of multilateralism” that inspired developing nations.

Meanwhile, Indian Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that her country is delightful to welcome Afghanistan as a new member of the WTO. She added that her country stands ready to extend all assistance and support to Afghanistan.