July 29, 2016
The U.S. Embassy warmly commends the Afghan government and its people on becoming the 164th member of the World Trade Organization, or WTO. This landmark achievement comes after over a decade of partnership between the United States and Afghanistan on trade issues, including sustained USAID assistance. Afghanistan’s accession to the WTO calls attention to the great economic strides the country has made over the past 15 years and will help the country move towards its goal of economic prosperity and integration into regional and global value chains. As a member of the WTO, Afghanistan will enjoy new opportunities for trade, improved access to foreign markets, and better prospects for economic growth and modernization.
With technical efforts already underway, Afghanistan committed at the Tokyo Conference in 2012 to join the WTO as part of its overall reform agenda to improve the country’s self-reliance. Throughout the accession process, Afghanistan has embraced the multilateral trade agenda as a means to enhance the country’s economic prospects; for their part, Afghanistan’s partners in the WTO have shown understanding of the country’s economic challenges. WTO members benefit from greater transparency, market access, and more predictable business environments – all of which can improve Afghanistan’s attractiveness as a place to invest and do business.
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan P. Michael McKinley welcomed the development, saying, “We applaud Afghanistan for its years of sustained effort to meet this milestone achievement and look forward to working with Afghanistan within the WTO.”