The Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Saturday said the trade and transit volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan has decreased by 20 percent this year.
Spokesman of the ministry, Musafir Qoqandi, said statistics from the first nine months of this year show that Afghanistan and Pakistan’s trade and transit valued at least $1 billion this year, while it was $1.5 billion last year.
According to the ministry, Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan valued at least $280 million this year while the imports from Pakistan valued $800 million.
“Our trade volume has decreased with Pakistan against previous years. But our exports have increased. We want good trade relations with all the nations, but we will be focused on our trade balance,” Qoqandi told TOLOnews.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) meanwhile said that Afghanistan’s economic dependency on Pakistan has decreasedfollowing the establishment of new alternative trade and transit routes with a number of countries.
Tawfiq Dawari, deputy head of the ACCI, said trade and transit volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been decreasing during the last nine months.
“While we use Karachi port and have bilateral trade ties with Pakistan, our trade relations have been maintained with other countries as well andthe reason is that we use other countries and international markets as well,” said Dawari.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Embassy in Kabul said in a statement that there has been an increase in trade and transit volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past year.
"Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to maintain up-ward trajectory of trade during last two years and has crossed $2 billion mark in year 2017-2018," the embassy said in a statement on December 21.
The embassy said that "Afghanistan export to Pakistan increased by 29.53 percent during Pakistan’s FY 2017-2018 that is from $342 million in year 2016-2017 to $443 million in 2017 and 2018".
"Afghanistan continues to increase its import from Pakistan, as Afghan imports increased from Pakistan by 18.33 percent from the period that was $1.271 million in years 2016-2017 to $1.576 billion in years 2017-2018," the embassy said.