PESHAWAR: The escalating tension between the two countries has halved Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan.
This was informed by the President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI), Zahidullah Shinwari.
While speaking to media in Peshawar, Shinwari said that this significant reduction in trade with Afghan market may bring the trade with Afghanistan to a halt altogether.
The President of SCCI was of the opinion that the reduction in trade adversely affects the Pakistani business community particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan than it does for Afghanistan.
Zahidullah urged government for the immediate revival of trade with the country.
The gradual reduction is attributed to the frequent change in government policies, particularly due to security being placed as a priority over trade.
The Commerce Ministry admitted that frequent closures of the Pak-Afghan border were one of the contributing factors to the gradual trade reduction with Afghanistan while exports reduced by 27 percent over 2017. Whereas, imports from Afghanistan have grown by 26% over the past year.
With a stronger emphasis on security extensive clearance at ports and issues related to transit guarantees in Pakistan have made other countries more favourable transit options for Afghanistan.
Whilst Afghan markets grow Iran, India, and China have stepped in to replace Pakistan.