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WTO Official Says Afghanistan Agrees To Terms For Membership

WTO director-general, Roberto Azevedo, speaks at the RSIS-MTI Trade Academy Distinguished Public Lecture in Singapore in May 25.

Afghanistan on November 11 agreed to terms for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) at a meeting with representatives from the trade body's existing 161 members.

A WTO official who attended the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland told Reuters that trade ministers will confirm the terms of Afghanistan's accession during a meeting in Nairobi in December.

Afghanistan would become a member of the WTO 30 days after it ratifies the deal.

The deadline for Afghanistan to ratify the deal is June 30, 2016.

Afghanistan agreed upon a draft deal in March 2014.

But WTO officials said the final deal still requires “appropriate signaling” from Kabul.

To join the WTO, candidate countries must offer to cut tariffs and change their laws to guarantee the rights of importers and exporters under WTO rules.

Kazakhstan and Liberia also recently agreed upon their membership terms, meaning the WTO is set to expand from 161 to 164 members.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP