Kabul: Afghanistan’s exports to Indian markets have doubled since 2016, officials of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said on Tuesday. Afghan exports to Pakistani markets increased just slightly during this period.
The business community called on the government to determine an effective strategy to help Afghan businessmen increase their exports to regional markets, Tolo news reported.
Meanwhile, a number of businessmen said that Afghanistan’s exports have faced serious problems this year due to the closing of border crossings with Pakistan following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACCI statistics show that last year Afghanistan exported $460 million worth of products to the Indian markets and India remained one of the largest markets for Afghanistan during this time. Afghan exports to the Pakistani markets during last year amounted to around $298 million.
“Trade balance deduction has been a major issue and this trends still prevails, there is a need for practical programs to overcome this challenge,” said Sayed Zaman Hashemi, the head of ACCI.
The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries calculated the overall volume of Afghanistan’s exports to world markets to be around $1 billion during 2019. However, the Afghan business community insists that Afghan traders are still facing problems.
The Afghan minister of economy Mustafa Mastoor said that the pandemic has left a significant impact on the business in the country.
He also said that the Afghan government was working hard to resolve the problems facing the country’s business.
“We need to gather all views when it comes to achieving our economic growth targets, fighting poverty and reducing the implications that originated from the coronavirus,” said Mastoor.
After the outbreak of the COVID-19, the Afghan exports significantly decreased and experts say that they could be less than the figure it was last year. The doubling of Afghanistan’s exports to India assume significance in these trying economic times when every country is struggling to sustainably prop up its economy.