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Trade Between Pakistan and Afghanistan Continues to Decline

Peshawar: According to the most recent news sources, the Pakistan-Afghanistan commerce is in a constant state of decline due to the obstacles erected by various government agencies at the Torkham border crossing.

According to exporter Muhammad Amir, traders have difficulty at numerous border crossings due to the existence of multiple rules governing trade with Afghanistan. “At Karachi, a vehicle carrying rice is certified for $4,000, whereas at Torkham, it costs $15,000,” he said.

He went on to note that not only are these challenges harming Pak-Afghan trade, but they are also cutting government revenue and causing losses for businesses. In addition, due to the financial crisis and the closure of the banking system in Afghanistan, the flow of money from Afghanistan to Pakistani traders has ceased. It has resulted in a 60% decline in orders for items placed with local merchants.

A second exporter, Abid Khan, told reporters that the National Logistics Cell (NLC) creates significant obstacles for shipping to Afghanistan. According to him, NLC officers manually inspect export products instead of scanning them because they do not trust their scanners.

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“NLC assesses Rs3500 for every export vehicle, which includes Rs1000 for scanning. Despite receiving this money, officials open stock in our vehicles, which not only destroys the items but also causes needless delays,” he lamented.

Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, provincial president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Customs Clearance Agent (KPCCA), warned that these challenges would continue to hurt traders and exporters as long as various government offices continue to interfere unnecessarily.

Indonesia intends to reach $50 billion in e-commerce trade with Pakistan by 2025.

He said that the federal government should recover the Pak-Afghan transit trade and consult with all interested parties to expeditiously finalize the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

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