Pak-Afghan border closure hinders kinnow exports

Published: March 19, 2017
SHARES
Email
The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has fixed the export target at 350,000 tons for the 2016-17 season. PHOTO: FILE

The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has fixed the export target at 350,000 tons for the 2016-17 season. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports Chairman Ahmad Jawad has said that Pak-Afghan border closure has adversely affected kinnow exports to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

As a result, the kinnow export target might not be achieved this year.

The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has fixed the export target at 350,000 tons for the 2016-17 season.

Fate of Afghan students hangs in balance as Torkham border remains closed

“Thousands of people are stranded on both sides and traders are unable to move their goods. The sealing of Afghan border has created a serious humanitarian crisis,” a press release quoted him as saying. Jawad said before the closure, hundreds of trucks and containers mainly carrying foodstuffs such as fruit, meat and milk would pass through two border posts alone.

The sealing of the border has also affected trade and movement of people from other checkpoints in the tribal areas. Thousands of trucks with perishable materials have been stuck on both sides for the past one month. According to an estimate, traders from both countries have been losing about $4 million a day because of the border closure. Pakistani traders are bearing about 80% of these losses.

Reaping losses: Torkham border controls drive fruit vendors to the edge

He said rising tension between the two countries and the drawdown of US-led coalition forces had already caused a huge drop in exports to Afghanistan from $2.5 billion to $1.3 billion. The exports are expected to go down further with the growing uncertainty caused by this new low in relations between the two countries.

Moreover, the government is also losing huge revenue as about 500 trucks on average used to cross the border every day, paying Rs10,000 each in customs duty and transit fee. The closure has also affected local traders and those associated with the transportation business.

“Cumulative losses to the economy by this action are incalculable and it will be extremely difficult to retrieve the situation,” he remarked. The FPCCI official further said in the wake of recent terrorist activities in Lahore and Sehwan, “we stand with the government’s decisions. However, we also expect some amicable solution to the problems so that the two countries can resume trade.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2017.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (4)

  • Saba
    Mar 19, 2017 - 7:15PM

    It also hinders Indian sponsored terrorism in PakistanRecommend

  • Sandip
    Mar 19, 2017 - 7:58PM

    India needs to get the Chabahar port operational asap. Only then will the Pakistani establishment realize that it has shot itself in the foot.Recommend

  • avtar
    Mar 19, 2017 - 9:40PM

    We need open borders in South Asia especially for perishable fruits and vegetables. Vendors and people will benefit from this policy.Recommend

  • Humza
    Mar 20, 2017 - 4:21AM

    I think the this is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. The immeasurable cost from criminality and the loss of life due to poor border control has cost the Pakistani nation billions of dollars and countless lives. The lives lost due to criminality which originates across the border in Afghanistan is more important than the Kinnow market. Not to mention, the Central Asian market should be tapped via the Northern border with China bypassing Afghanistan altogether. The border with Afghanistan needs to be closed until it can be properly secured. Otherwise there will be more attacks originating from Afghanistan by indian intelligence agency.Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Business