KABUL: Amid strained ties on political level mainly due to the circumstances surrounding the fight against terrorism, the Pakistani officials have informed regarding a drastic fall in Pakistan’s share in Afghan markets.
Chairman Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zubair Motiwala has told Dawn News that Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan fell to $1.2 billion from $2.7bn within in the last two years.
According to Motiwala, the drastic fall in Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan has direct links with the penetration of India in Afghan markets as well as China which supplies products on a competitive scale.
Motiwala further added that Pakistan has been losing even the traditional markets of flour, men and women’s clothes and red meat, affecting around the 200 flour mills out of which around 100 have been closed besides the drastic fall has affected the Peshawar medical tourism.
India has been providing goods at subsidised rates to capture the market and are providing air tickets with a 75pc rebate, he told the paper.
He also added that Afghans find it easy to travel to India with cheap tickets and free multiple visas without police checks.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports to Afghanistan dropped to $1.271bn in FY17 from $1.437bn in FY16. Exports in the first quarter of 2017-18 stood at $319 million.
According to Dawn News, State Bank’s data showed that the imports from Afghanistan increased to $68m in FY17, compared to $40m in FY16.