Lahore - Afghanistan is the only country that has been allowed by Pakistan to export its goods through Wagah to India. Afghanistan is one of the major trading partners of Pakistan and has been top exporting market for Pakistani products since ages.

In recent years, trade with Afghanistan has moved from informal to formal sector. In 2000-01, the formal exports to Afghanistan stood at $140 million that grew after a decade to $2.33 billion in 2010-11.

 It was being expected the bilateral trade to touch $5 billion in 2014-15 but global slowdown has kept the trade at little higher than 2011-11 level. Still after United States, European Union and China, Afghanistan is the fourth largest export market for Pakistan.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are not only good neighbours but also members of SAARC and OIC. Pakistan is central to Afghanistan’s progress and prosperity and taking a number of measures to this regard. There have been many testing time in history but Pakistan always stood with Afghani brothers.

This was stated by LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz while talking to a delegation of Afghanistan here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Saturday.

Head of the Afghan delegation Dr. Anwar said that Pak-Afghan relations are getting stronger with every passing day. He said that Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to play their role for strengthening the economic ties between the two countries.

He said that Afghanistan had huge untapped natural resources and a joint venture between businessmen of Pakistan and Afghanistan could pave way for a win-win situation.

He said that it was encouraging to see upward trend in imports from Afghanistan but we must endeavour to open up new avenues for increasing formal channel of trade.

He said that smuggling has been one of the long standing issues between two countries.

Through plugging smuggling points, we can create opportunity for both the governments to earn greater national exchequer in the form of taxes and duties.

He said that Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan are wheat, sucrose, soap, tea, footwear, carpets, paper & paperboard, pharmaceutical goods etc.

 Major imports from Afghanistan to Pakistan are carpets, textile floor covering (knotted), seeds of anise, guts/bladders/stomachs of animals etc.

He stressed the need to diversify trade patterns for the sake of bringing some innovation.