Kabul: As China’s trade with Afghanistan has been growing fast, the “Silk Road” report indicates that China is considering Afghanistan’s participation in “Belt and Road” initiative that turn Afghanistan as second largest trading partner for China, after Pakistan in 2023.
Silk Road Briefing (SRB) provides global and regional intelligence to assist and monitor infrastructure, geopolitical, and structural developments, along with foreign investment opportunities along China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
According to China customs data, in December 2022, China imported goods worth USD 9.09 million from Afghanistan and exported goods worth USD 59 million, resulting in a positive trade balance of USD 49.9 million for China.
If these figures are projected as the 2023 average, then this would result in a bilateral trade figure of USD 816 million. Pakistan, currently the largest Afghan trade partner, achieved bilateral trade of USD 1.513 billion in 2022, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
India, which has been in second place, had bilateral trade with Afghanistan of USD 545 million last year, according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce.
According to the Indian media “ANI”, quoting Silk Road Briefing, between December 2021 and December 2022, Chinese exports increased by 56.4 per cent but imports slightly decreased by less than 1 per cent.
In December 2022 the top exports from Afghanistan to China were nuts, animal hair, semi-precious stones, dried fruits, and vegetable products.
In December 2022, the top exports of China to Afghanistan were synthetic filaments, yarn-woven fabrics, rubber tires, other synthetic fabrics, semiconductors, and other commodities.
The proposed extension of Chinese trade to Afghanistan would help to industrialize the nation – providing countries like Russia Iran and Turkmenistan to install and develop energy fields to get the Afghanistan energy reserves to where they are most needed.