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Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman on Afghanistan’s Accession to the WTO

Today, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman released the following statement welcoming Afghanistan as the 164th Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“We congratulate Afghanistan on becoming the newest Member of the WTO, and recognize its accession as a testament to the great strides the country has made over the past 15 years,” Ambassador Froman said. “We hope that Afghanistan’s WTO Membership will provide a foundation that increases economic growth, opens new opportunities for trade with other WTO Members, and enhances the potential for future development and prosperity. We look forward to working with Afghanistan as a full Member of the WTO.”

Afghanistan's WTO accession will facilitate deeper engagement on regional connectivity and economic cooperation -- essential elements for accelerating economic growth, employment and living standards for the countries of South and Central Asia. The United States has provided extensive technical assistance to Afghanistan on its WTO accession for 10 years. In 2012, Afghanistan committed to joining the WTO at the Tokyo Conference as part of its overall reform agenda to increase the country’s self-reliance. The United States’ bilateral and multilateral work with Afghanistan helped move the country toward its goal of becoming a regional commercial transit hub in Central Asia and towards modernizing its governing structure and economy.