Afghanistan Completes its Bilateral Agreements to accede the WTO

Afghanistan’s Bilateral Agreements on Goods and Services reached its final stage:

In order to pave its way to the accession of WTO the Afghan Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry H.E Mozammil Shinwari visited  Geneva from 10-16 Feb 2014. During his visit he  signed a number of protocols with  the Republic of Turkey, Republic of South Korea, European Union and the separate custom territory of Taiwan.

On 10th of Feb 2014 HE Shinwari and  E.U’s Ambassador Mr. Angelos PANGRATIS signed the protocol on Goods and Services   in the    EU Mission to WTO . Both sides welcomed  signing the protocol and emphasized on further Cooperation. According to the protocol as a least Developed Country, all Afghanistan’s products (except arms) have duty free and quota free access to the EU market.

It worth mentioning that the EU is one of the main trading partner of  Afghanistan, accounting for almost 9% of its exports and 12% of its imports. In 2012 the total value of EU goods exported to Afghanistan was €935 million, while imports from Afghanistan amounted to €56 million. Afghanistan mainly supplies the EU market with skins and leather products, fruits/nuts, but also electronic products, which together represent more than 50% of its exports to the EU. The main EU exports to Afghanistan are vehicles, mineral fuels, machinery and electrical equipment.

Moreover, on 12th  February the Deputy Minister signed the same  protocol with the Republic of Turkey in its Permanent Mission to WTO. Both sides discussed the historic and brotherly  relations between the two countries and  along the meeting the issue of capacity building was also discussed.

On  12th and 13th February Afghan delegation signed the protocol with  South Korean Ambassador Mr. Seokyoung CHOI , and Representative of the separate custom territory of Taiwan in WTO Headquarter in Geneva accordingly.

Afghan delegation  also met with accession division and discussed the finalization of  the work plan for last working party meeting which is scheduled to  take place before Accession.   They also  discussed reformation of laws .

While signing the protocols H.E Shinwari was accompanied by the Afghan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNOG H.E Tarzi and Mr. Abdul Kareem Malikyar Head of WTO Division, ministry of Commerce and industry.