ACCI said that with the closure of the Torkham crossing for commercial vehicles, a loss of $100,000 dollars has been sustained by the merchants.
A number of merchants said that the closure of the Torkham crossing to commercial vehicles has caused Afghanistan’s fresh fruit and vegetables to spoil on this route.
Some of these businesspeople said that the officials of the Islamic Emirate should solve these problems in a fundamental way with dialogue with the Pakistani authorities.
“We have transit exports. Onions from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are exported from Afghanistan to Torkham and from Torkham to Pakistan. Our merchants also export tomatoes, black eggplants, all seasonal fruits and our vegetables. We have both exports and imports and the one who suffers are Afghan traders,” Mirwais Hajizada, a trader, told TOLOnews.
“Dozens of fruit trucks have been stopped on the other side of the crossing and hundreds of cars have been stopped on both sides. Most of our fruits are rotten,” said Akhtar Mohammad Ahmadi, a merchant.
During the past year, Afghanistan’s trade relations with Pakistan have had ups and downs, the closure of the Torkham crossing four months ago and the blocking of Afghan goods in Karachi port have caused more than $26 million dollars in losses to the country’s merchants.
The Chamber of Commerce and Investment said that with the closure of the Torkham crossing for commercial vehicles, a loss of $100,000 dollars has been sustained by the merchants.
Mohammad Yunus Momand, the first deputy of the ACCI, emphasized that the caretaker government of Pakistan should act according to international principles in trade with Afghanistan.
Momand said: “the containers which are blocked in Karachi port are involved in Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) and international transit agreements, but they [Pakistan] did not follow these agreements.”
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) said that although the officials of this chamber had meetings with Pakistani officials for the purpose of addressing the challenges of traders, the positive result has not come yet.
Naqibullah Safi, chief executive officer of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber, said: “The more communication between us and Pakistan, the contents are common and this has a positive effect, and the communication between the private sector of the two sides should increase.”
The statistics of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry shows that in the past year, more than $2.46 billion worth of trade has been done with Pakistan, of which $1 billion and five million dollars are exports, but restrictions from Pakistan remain a challenging issue for business people.