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Afghanistan joined the WTO as its 164th Member and also ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement
Afghanistan joined the WTO on 29 July as its 164th Member, after nearly 12 years of negotiating its accession terms. Afghanistan is the ninth least-developed country (LDC) to accede to the WTO since the organization’s establishment in 1995.
Afghanistan has also submitted its instrument of acceptance for the TFA, becoming the 90th WTO member and the tenth LDC member to do so. Afghanistan will benefit from special flexibilities in the TFA allowing developing countries and LDCs to determine when they will implement individual provisions of the Agreement and to identify provisions that they will only be able to implement upon the receipt of technical assistance and support for capacity building.
The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol.
The TFA has a huge potential to reduce trade costs thereby boosting trade between countries and raising world income. OECD studies find that the implementation of the TFA could reduce worldwide trade costs between 12.5% and 17.5%. Developing country exports are expected to grow between 14% and 22% while becoming more diversified. Companies are more likely to become more profitable which should encourage domestic investment. In addition, foreign direct investment is likely to be attracted to countries that fully implement the TFA. Finally, increased trade means better employment prospects for workers and greater revenue collection by the government.