THIS NEWS STORY is designed to help the public understand developments in the WTO. While every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, it does not prejudice member governments’ positions.



The working party examined the latest state of play in Afghanistan’s accession negotiations, including bilateral market access negotiations and legislative developments, and discussed next steps in the work of the working party.

In his opening remarks, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Mozammil Shinwari, updated the working party on measures undertaken in Kabul regarding economic, trade and legislative reforms.  He also outlined future legislative work.

During the working party meeting, members closely examined Afghanistan’s economic and foreign trade policies and requested clarifications from Afghanistan on state ownership and state trading enterprises, trading rights, business licences and fees as well as details concerning sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade-related investment measures and intellectual property rights. Members commended Afghanistan for its commitment and dedication to accede to the WTO.

The chair of the working party, Ambassador Roderick van Schreven (Netherlands), thanked WTO members for their constructive engagement and also the Afghani delegation for their contributions. He also added: “We are all aware of the particular challenges Afghanistan faces as a landlocked country, a least-developed country, and a country rebuilding itself after decades of strife. I believe it is essential that we take full account of these factors in the negotiations. And we also have the strengthened 2002 Guidelines on the Accession of LDCs to guide our work.”

Mr Shinwari thanked WTO members that are involved in the technical assistance programmes provided to Afghanistan and he reassured members that “Afghanistan remains committed to integrating into the world’s multilateral trading system and to accelerating the process for completing WTO accession proceedings by the end of 2013.”


Background information

  • Application received on 21 November 2004
  • Working Party established on 13 December 2004
  • Working Party Chairperson: H.E. Mr Roderick van Schreven (the Netherlands)
  • Working Party Secretary: Ms Alicja Wielgus
  • Working Party Co-Secretary: Ms Juneyoung Lee


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