Why Afghanistan Should Join WTO?

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Why Afghanistan Should Join WTO?

  • Joining WTO gives Afghan exports access to all WTO member markets on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) basis.  This means that Afghan exports will be eligible for the best treatment that the country provides to the goods of other WTO members. 

For example, if the European Union grants the United States a low tariff on its potatoes, then Afghan exports must be given the same low tariff on exports of Bamiyan potatoes to the European Union.

  • Afghanistan will have the ability to seek redress and compensation from WTO dispute settlement mechanism for violations of international trade rules by its neighbors and trading partners.  Afghanistan will be protected against the whims of more powerful countries.  All WTO legal agreements are enforceable through the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
  • With more stable trade rules, Afghan businesses will be better able to compete in domestic and international markets.  Afghanistan will also have the right to WTO grants and capacity building.
  • It sends a signal to foreign investors that Afghanistan is willing to abide by international trade rules.  Removing uncertainty is key indicator for investors when they assess destinations for potential investment.
  • Joining WTO enhances Afghanistan’s stature on the world stage through having a voice at the negotiating table.  It can join like-minded countries to create economically stronger ties.
  • Increases in trade and business activity means greater government revenue through customs collection and taxes.
  • Under WTO, improved Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures ensures protection for Afghan food supplies.