In the previous fiscal year, a mutual trade of $1.3 billion was recorded
The Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said the government wants to boost its exports to Afghanistan up to $5 billion in the next three years. The bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $1.3 billion in the fiscal year 2019, much lower compared to the $2.5 billion in 2011. The informal trade between the two countries in the previous fiscal year, however, was around $2 billion.
Prioritizing the documentation
The government is prioritizing the documentation of the trade between the two countries so that the exact numbers are available. A number of other matters that can facilitate the trade are also under review. These include the availability of better payment settlement methods, the use of bonded carriers, better insurance mechanisms, facilitation in visas, and trade financing among others.
Benefiting from the geography
Pakistan shares a 2200 kilometers long border with Afghanistan which makes it the cheapest trade route for both sides. Goods can reach their destination in Afghanistan in a matter of hours after leaving warehouses in Peshawar.
“Pakistan shares 2200 km long border with Afghanistan, which can play a vital role to increase economic interdependence and ties in both sides,” Dawood said.
Engaging in more dialogues
The Assistant to the Prime Minister also added that he will be visiting Afghanistan for an Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority meeting and discuss trade prospects.
“I would visit Afghanistan to join the meeting Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) to consult on future trade prospects and opportunities,” he added.
Recently, a seminar was held in Islamabad discussing the trade opportunities between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The two-day long event was attended by around a dozen Afghan members of parliament. Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present for the event.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have had their ups and downs over the years. However, Afghanistan still heavily relies on Pakistan for many products and services, including education as many students come to Peshawar daily from across the border. Boosting trade ties will be beneficial for both sides and will help ease tensions between the countries.