ACCI officials say Pakistan has historically been Afghanistan’s biggest trade partner but Iran has now taken its place.
Afghanistan-Iran Trade Volumes Rise
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) says Iran was Afghanistan’s biggest trade partner in the last solar year - March 2017 to 21 March 2018 – and exported goods to the value of over $1.98 billion USD.
The ACCI said trade volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan was $1.2 billion USD in the same time, and $1 billion USD with China.
“Now Iran is our biggest (trade) partner,” ACCI deputy chief Khan Jan Alokozay told TOLOnews.
“Iran has surpassed Pakistan’s place, which means we have more than two billion dollars in imports and exports with Iran. Imports are high but exports are a lot less. Meanwhile transit is also good through that route (Iran).”
According to ACCI, Afghanistan’s trade volume with all countries for the year totals $7 billion USD annually.
An economist, Qais Mohammadi, said government should increase exports as the value is a lot less than that involving imports.
“In order to increase exports of a country, there should be a focus on products other countries need (from Afghanistan), but government has not worked on this matter so far,” he said.
Afghanistan’s main imports from Iran are construction materials, food and fuel.
ACCI’s statistics show that Afghanistan has exported at least one million tons of goods to other countries in the last year, particularly to Pakistan.