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Pakistan loses major Afghan market share, as India penetrates

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Pakistan has lost 50 percent of its shares in Afghanistan’s market, an offshoot of that country’s diversion of funds to sponsoring terrorism.

Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and industry chairman Zubair Motiwala has disclosed that Islamabad has lost its 50 percent market share in Afghanistan as the time-tested friend, India has successfully penetrated the market on merit.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper—a prominent English Daily has quoated Zubair Motiwala, as saying, “Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan fell to USD 1.2 billion from USD 2.7 billion within in the last two years and the country has been losing even the traditional markets of flour, men and women’s clothes and red meat.”

Citing India’s productive engagement in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and economic development, Motiwala said New Delhi has been providing various items at subsidized rates to influence the Afghan market and the air cargo with a 75 percent rebate has played a vital role in boosting bilateral trade between the two countries, sidelining Pakistan.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s export to Afghanistan had been dropped to USD 1.271 billion in Financial Year 2017 from USD 1.437 billion in Financial Year 2016. Similarly, exports in the first quarter of 2017-18 stood at USD 319 million.

Medial tourism of Peshawar has badly affected, as Afghans now prefer India for offering affordable treatment, concessions and treating Afghans very humbly on Indian soil.

“Hospitals in Hayatabad are empty,” he said.

Prior to this, Mubarak Zeb Khan also wrote in Dawn on Pakistan’s losing ground in Afghanistan.

“Pakistani items are being replaced with Indian and Iranian exports in Afghanistan,” he said.

The again and again closure of crossing-points and implementation of tougher regulations by Pakistan have forced the Afghan government and traders to boost up bilateral trade with Central Asian countries, India, Iran and others. And Pakistan has yet to shift from security-centered policy to an economic one.

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