Trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan hit after Taliban takeover

The trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan has declined significantly after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan

Oct 03, 2021
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Trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan

The trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan has declined significantly after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. The cargo flow dropped by 16 percent in August this year and 73 percent drop in September in comparison to the same period last year. 

The drop is the result of the collapsing economy in Afghanistan as the country’s reserves remain blocked and foreign aid also stopped after the Taliban seized power militarily. As the cash crisis worsened, the Taliban put a limit on cash withdrawal from accounts, which in turn created a severe credit crisis for businesses. 

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, who is also deputy minister for information and culture, had assured of continued trade with neighboring and other countries. Afghanistan’s trade with regional countries has dropped significantly in recent weeks.

However, Pakistan’s imports from Afghanistan have seen a visible increase in the first two months of the current fiscal year--mostly due to the relaxation on import duty in fresh fruits and other items to support Afghanistan’s economy, according to a report in Dawn. 

The import value from Afghanistan stood at around $19 million in July-August this year, almost doubled from the same period last year when it recorded $9.5 million. 

In Herat, Afghanistan’s third-biggest city, known for its industries, over 200 out of the total of 700 factories closed down due to lack of credit, raw material, and no demands. 

Exporters in Afghanistan also facing problems at border crossings with Pakistan with many of them complaining about restrictions.  

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) alleged that Pakistani authorities are allowing only 20 Afghan trucks a day while hundreds of trucks are stuck near crossing points between the two countries.

“It is a serious problem. We shared it with Pakistani officials several times but it has remained unresolved,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, the head of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. 

 (SAM) 

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