Position for the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development

Position for the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Position for the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development

  1. Enhancing Trade and Development to Landlocked Developing Member States through Multinational Development Projects

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan calls upon all members of the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development to help in the establishment of a new Silk Road. As a landlocked member state in this council, Afghanistan believes it to be one of the most appropriate member states to speak on this topic. Per the CIA World Factbook, Afghanistan had an average GDP per capita of nineteen hundred U.S. dollars. This ranked in the bottom 10th percentile of countries in terms of GDP per capita. Afghanistan also has an unemployment rate of over 35% and the real growth of Afghanistan’s GDP has not seen marked improvement as it sat at only 2% in 2016.[1]

Afghanistan would like to commend the People’s Republic of China and its president Xi Jinping for taking the first steps towards this goal of a new Silk Road through the “One Belt, One Road Initiative”. Since 2007, the People’s Republic of China has become one of the largest foreign investors in the Afghan economy and China has also been gracious to not only invest in Afghanistan through infrastructure funding but also in offering the people of Afghanistan scholarships to study abroad in the great city of Beijing. Afghanistan encourages the other members of this council to show the commitment that the People’s Republic of China has put towards this initiative.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also wishes to stress how multinational development projects can not only help countries like Afghanistan economically but also domestically. As one of the most diverse countries in this council, Afghanistan is no stranger to the strife and conflict that can come about from conflicts between ethnic groups. Investing in the new Silk Road will also require member states to invest in a peaceful Afghanistan. Afghanistan believes that through cooperation with other member states, the outbursts of violence that have plagued Afghanistan can be overcome and true development can begin.

It is the hope of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that this council is able to come together and help bring about real, long lasting development to countries like Afghanistan and other developing member states. Afghanistan commits itself fully towards the goals of economic development and prosperity for all countries.

II. Examining the Impacts of Additive Manufacturing on Global Trade

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan believes that additive manufacturing puts developing nations at an economic disadvantage due to their lack of infrastructure and ability to utilize additive manufacturing processes. Additive manufacturing will disrupt the development of Afghanistan and other developing nations’ economies through localization of trade. Economic development efforts taken by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development must take into account the disadvantage that additive manufacturing imposes on developing states, and we must promote alternative for low-end manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing will decrease the cost variance between items produced in markets with lower labor costs. These locations with lower labor costs are typical in developing countries, so additive manufacturing will directly disadvantage developing nations. It is anticipated that once companies in developed nations begin enough onshore manufacturing through additive manufacturing, shipping costs will rise due to the decrease in volumes.[2] Manufacturing and retail companies in developed countries will experience decreased costs for manufacturing. These companies becoming more capital efficient due to additive manufacturing will shift trade balance away from foreign imports. Countries traditionally develop using low end manufacturing, and it is typically the first rung on the ladder of economic development, and by decreasing developing nations’ labor cost advantage for low end manufacturing, additive manufacturing may stagnate developing nations. The newly emerging economic structure due to additive manufacturing will negatively impact emerging economies while bolstering developed nations. This will create vast economic inequity between developed and developing nations.

Afghanistan has received over 100 billion US dollars’ worth of aid since 2002.[3] The vast majority of this aid has come from the United States of America. The majority of this money has been spent on security forces, but, still, tens of billions of dollars for civilian projects have been allocated. Additionally, the world bank has invested 22 million US dollars into the Afghanistan New Market Development project to revitalize the private sectors of four major urban cities of Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Heart.[4] This effort focuses on increasing presence in domestic and export markets primarily through low-end manufacturing. Additive manufacturing in developed countries will stagnate these efforts and prove counterproductive to international efforts to help Afghanistan and other nations develop unless alternative means of development are found.

Afghanistan believes that developing nations through other means than low-end manufacturing is the only way to prevent stagnation of developing nations by additive manufacturing in the near future.

[1] Central Intelligence Agency. (1999). The World Factbook 2016. Government Printing Office.


[3] Donati, Jessica. “After 10 Year Of Western Aid, Afghanistan Is A Dependent Mess.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Dec. 2014,

[4] “Projects & Operations.” Projects : Afghanistan New Market Development | The World Bank, World Bank Group, projects.worldbank.org/P118053/afghanistan-new-market-development?lang=en&tab=details.