Afghanistan obtained World Trade Organization membership one year ago, but until now, no one has been appointed to represent the country at the organization
Afghanistan's WTO Seat Still Empty One Year Later
Officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) on Monday said the United States has invested $100 million USD over the last 10 years in different fields to enable Afghanistan to get membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), but after a year as a member, no one has been appointed as the country's representative.
According to MoCI officials, no work has been started on this and that the lack of human resources is one of the reasons behind the problem.
“The lack of human resources, capabilities, is a challenge, but we hope that in cooperation with government institutions we can fulfill our commitments at the WTO,” said Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, the acting deputy minister for commerce at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Meanwhile, a number of economic analysts said government’s reluctance to send a team to the World Trade Organization originates from interventions in selecting the team members.
“Two issues are important in our joining the WTO. First, how and by what preparations we join the organization, and second what should we do after joining the organization and how to deal with regional and international partners,” said economic analyst Shabir Bashiri.
Officials from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) also said a technical and professional team should be sent to the WTO so Afghanistan can make the most of the opportunity.
“Considering the complications in our relations with regional countries, we should send a professional team to WTO to benefit under WTO structures,” the International Chamber of Commerce’s country director Abdul Qadir Bahman said.
Afghanistan applied for WTO membership, with the help of the United States, 11 years ago.
As a member, Afghanistan also pays $46,000 USD in fees.