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Senate also approves Afghanistan’s membership of WTO

Senate also approves Afghanistan’s membership of WTO

Jun 21, 2016 - 15:51

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Meshrano Jirga -- or upper house of the parliament -- on Tuesday ratified Afghanistan’s membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

On Saturday, the Wolesi Jirga had endorsed the country’s WTO membership, which Afghanistan had requested in 2001. The organisation gave the country a supervisory role in 2004.

The WTO finally accepted Afghanistan membership in 2015.Saleh Mohammad Lala Gul, head of the Senate’s Economic commission, said most house panels viewed the membership as beneficial to the country.

He said resolving problems in areas of transit, exports, foreign investment, technical cooperation, capacitybuilding, dispute resolution and credibility among investors were the benefits of WTO membership.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) officials say the WTO had set the June, 2016 deadline for the country to approve its membership.

Gul said four of 27 articles and rules of the WTO law had been approved so far by the parliament while the approval of 12 articles is still in process.

HaseebullahKalimzai, second deputy chairman of the house, asked senators to approve the country’s WTO membership as it could boost economic growth by 2.5 percent.

If any WTO member break trade rules, the Afghan government will be able to use its membership privileges to take legal action against the violator.

Most of senators voted in favour for the country’s WTO membership.The WTO which regulates international trade was established on January 1, 1995to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).