Economic Times, India
Cabinet paves way for Afghanistan’s entry into SAFTA
4 October 2008
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Friday paved the way for the formal entry of Afghanistan into the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for ratification of the Protocol of Accession, which will accelerate Afghanistan’s formal joining of the SAFTA.
It will also help in the full implementation of the SAFTA by putting pressure on Pakistan to adhere to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) norms for the Sensitive List and give transit to Afghanistan.
The Cabinet also gave its approval to the proposals for ratification of the Charter of the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) and Agreement on the Establishment of South Asian Regional Standards organization (SARSO).
Early ratification of the SDF will accelerate the implementation of the regional and sub-regional projects in SAARC. It will help in transforming SAARC from declaratory to implementation.
The establishment of SARSO would enhance economic engagements with SAARC countries by cooperating in the field of standards and quality control.
It will also accelerate full implementation of SAFTA by harmonizing the standards in SAARC.