Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan plummet

February 4, 2019

TEHRAN - Pakistan’s exports to neighboring Afghanistan have dwindled by 41.57 percent to just $1.4 billion in 2018-19 from $2.6 billion in 2010-11, according to latest figures.

The figures show how fast Pakistan is losing its most important captive market – Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s captive market has massively shifted to Iran and India mainly on account of the frequent closures of trade borders between Pakistan and Afghanistan and intensifying diplomatic tensions, according to the report.

According to latest trade data of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran’s exports to Afghanistan jumped to $2.8 billion and out of which exports to Afghanistan climbed to $2 billion in first ten months as of June 20, 2019.

However, “Iranian exports to Afghanistan in 2011 stood at $1.88 billion which now has risen to $2.88 billion with the increment of $1 billion in exports”, says UN COMTRADE database on international trade.

Presently Iran holds 22 percent share ($2.5 billion) of Afghanistan’s $11.5 billion consumer market.

A report in News International quoted an official saying that closure of trade borders between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the wake of terror activities in Pakistan has provided the opportunity to Iran to make inroads in Afghanistan market

“Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan came across a mammoth decline due to the decrease in aggregate demand as a result of the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, increasing trust deficit, worsening law and order situation, frequent closures of the Pak-Afghan border and diversion of Afghan trade to Iran,” he said.

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