Afghanistan Completes its Bilateral Agreements to accede the WTO
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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.