Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union Head of Delegation to Afghanistan, on Wednesday said four years ago the value of commercial transactions between Afghanistan and the European Union (EU) member nations was around $2 billion per annum while the figure has now dropped to $300 million.
Experts meanwhile say that one of the key factors behind the decrease is the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
Meanwhile, officials from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have said the Afghan government has been able to take advantage of incentives and resources provided by the EU to Afghanistan and developing countries in the commercial and trade sector but that Afghanistan has not been able to grow its export market to Europe.
Mayaudon said Afghanistan is a developing country and that the EU had offered special packages for the country to promote its exports to EU nations.
Customs duty exemptions on exports of Afghanistan’s products to the EU is one of the key incentives given by the EU to Afghanistan.
“Our products are exempt from tariffs in European countries, the government can improve its revenues by using the incentives,” said Abdul Qadeer Bahman, CEO ICC.
ICC officials have suggested Afghan officials should attract EU funding in order to increase Afghanistan’s exports to Europe.
ICC officials also said that the Lapis-Lazuli route will help Afghanistan boost its exports to these countries.