“I am proud to welcome Afghanistan to the WTO as our newest member,” Azevêdo said.
He said “This is an historic day for the country and its integration into the global economy. We arrived at this point thanks to the commitment of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the government of Afghanistan.”
“I congratulate them on this achievement, particularly given the very challenging circumstances,” DG Azevêdo continued. “WTO membership will be a foundation stone in the country’s future development. I also want to commend all WTO members for their support in this process, and their commitment to helping LDCs to participate in the multilateral trading system.”
Afghanistan’s accession package was approved by the Working Party members on 11 November 2015 and by Ministers at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference on 17 December 2015.
Afghanistan has also submitted its instrument of acceptance for the TFA, becoming the 90th WTO member and the ninth LDC member to do so.
Afghanistan will benefit from special flexibilities in the TFA allowing developing countries and LDCs to determine when they will implement individual provisions of the Agreement and to identify provisions that they will only be able to implement upon the receipt of technical assistance and support for capacity building.
The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement. -KP
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