Karzai calls for further trade liberalisation

Liam Ward-Proud
Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday called for trade liberalisation in order to help poorer nations close the gap with the developed world.

Speaking at the opening of the World Islamic Economic Forum, Karzai said that “the challenge of reducing inequality among nations must also be addressed through liberalising trade. In particular, ensuring free access to exports from the least-developed countries.”

Karzai also drew attention to the importance of agriculture in Afghanistan, a sector employing over 60 per cent of the country’s population.

The World Trade Organisation’s global talks, known as the Doha Round, collapsed in 2008 over disagreements on agricultural subsidies, among other topics. Trade ministers will meet in Indonesia this December to try and restart talks. Indonesia’s President recently said that “we are now at the eleventh hour to put the negotiations back on track.”