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Afghan-Pakistan trade volume hits an all-time low

Afghan-Pakistan trade volume hits an all-time low

Jan 05, 2018 - 08:51

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The volume of annual trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan has slumped from 2.6 billion to just $1.6, says a leader of the business community.

Induced by persistent bilateral tensions at the political level, the drop in trade is a matter of grave concern for businesspeople from the neighbouring countries,

Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Ziaul Haq Sarhadi believed trade between the two nations could be enhanced to $7.5 billion annually if the two governments removed hurdles at different levels.

Sarhadi, who is also president of Frontier Customs Agents Group Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, sought a dispassionate review of the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, which needed rectifications.

In 2014-15, he recalled, bilateral trade had witnessed an increase of 65 percent and the volume had crossed the figure of $2.5 billion.

However, Kabul-Islamabad hostilities, unfavourable business conditions and shifting of a major portion of trade to the Chabahar Port in Iran triggered a precipitous decline in trade between the two states.

The trade volume is further shrinking, according to Sarhadi, who stressed the need for relaxing customs rules, facilitating the transportation of goods and modifying the transit trade agreement.