Afghanistan gets a go ahead for WTO membership

KABUL – Afghanistan has been recommended formally to join the World Trade Organization(WTO) with this the Afghan government’s aspirations of lifting its war-battered economy and creating jobs in one of the world’s poorest countries will get a boost.

Afghanistan has to ratify the agreement till June 30 this being the concluding move before achieving the status of a full member of the world trade organization which supports the universal system of global trade.

Mohammad Khan Rahmani, the Deputy Chief Executive of Afghanistan in a speech at WTO conference in Nairobi, Kenya where this agreement was passed, announced, “Trade-led growth will create new economic opportunities and jobs, especially for women; it will reduce poverty, and increase prosperity.”

“It will certainly contribute in a major way to dramatically reduce extremism and achieve regional peace and security,” he added.

News coming on the heels of the ambitious TAPI gas pipeline launch connecting India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan this WTO accord is the second biggest economic agreement for the government in this week, however, the hurdles to prosperity still dampening.

The most basic infrastructure of the country is ravaged due to continuous bloodshed and warfare. Decades of struggle and strife have created a climate of doubts, fears and corruption causing investors to flee and turned millions of Afghans into refugees.

Known for its dried fruits and a major exporter (10% of the world’s dry fruit market in the 1970s) Afghanistan’s economy is now amongst the world’s least advanced.

Ease Doing Business report 2015 by World Bank, places Afghanistan at 183 out of 189 countries and last year’s growth was mere 1.3 percent, way too sluggish to contribute adequate jobs for its rapidly-growing population.

Aid benefactors are making efforts to re-establish the agriculture and promotion of products like pistachios, raisins, almonds and traditional exports like woolen carpets.

The Afghan government has also promised aspiring reforms to resurrect the economy, fight corruption and attract investment.

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