Pakistan’s export of goods to Afghanistan dropped by 17.68 percent between July and December last year to $608.533 million against the exports of goods worth $739.233 million recorded during same period in 2017.
According to Pakistan’s The Nation, the import of goods from Afghanistan, however, witnessed an increase of 20.47 percent to $85.123 million in the first half of the fiscal year – up from $70.655 million in the July to December period.
Citing latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), The Nation reported that the yearly export of goods to Afghanistan also declined to $74.193 million in December 2018, against exports worth $163.164 million in the same month of the previous year.
The imports also witnessed a decrease of 36.55 percent which fell to $10.238 million in December 2018 against imports worth $16.138 million in the same month of 2017.
On a month-on-month basis, exports from Afghanistan increased by 2.5 percent to $74.193 million against exports worth of $72.389 million recorded during November 2018.
Similarly, imports went down to $10.238 million in December 2018 from $13.172 million in November showing a negative growth of 22.27 percent.
This comes after the Afghan Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in December the trade and transit volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan had decreased by 20 percent overall in 2018.
A spokesman for the ministry, Musafir Qoqandi, said statistics from the first nine months of last year showed that Afghanistan and Pakistan’s trade and transit totaled about $1 billion in 2018 against $1.5 billion in 2017.
According to the ministry, Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan totaled at least $280 million in 2018 while imports from Pakistan were $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 at the time.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) meanwhile said that Afghanistan’s economic dependency on Pakistan had decreased following the establishment of new alternative trade and transit routes with a number of countries.
However, in December, Pakistan's Embassy in Kabul issued a statement that there had been an increase in trade and transit volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2018.
"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.