The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has dropped from $2.5 billion to a mere $500 million according to a Pakistani chamber official. Earlier, Zahidullah Shinwari, president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that strained Afghanistan-Pakistan relations are to be blamed for the 80% drop in the volume of bilateral trade, according to Khamaa News.
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Though frequent border closures between two nations and import bans have been additional irritants, however, the imposition of new tariffs by Kabul on products manufactured east of the Durand Line have threatened to disrupt the trade further.
Businessmen in K-P have now requested the government to take up the issue with the Afghan government and resolve all trade conflicts. Pakistan exported goods worth $2.5billion (which has gone done by 80% as per reports) in 2011-12. The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry is keen to raise the bilateral trade to $5 billion per year but is facing restrictions from the Afghan government who favour working with a ‘friendly’ India.
Afghanistan is hopeful of doubling bilateral trade to $2 billion with India by 2020 and seeks private investments and co-operation in various sectors. The Afghan Government seeks investment from India in the field of agriculture, mining, heavy industries, education, healthcare, energy, IT and transportation,” according to Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali.
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