Fruit imports from Afghanistan surge after duty waiver

The fruit imports from Afghanistan have witnessed an unprecedented increase following a waiver of duty by the federal government on Afghan products.

This was stated by Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq in a series of tweets. “An unprecedented increase in the flow of fruit trucks from Afghanistan to Pakistan can be seen,” Sadiq tweeted, as he shared data from the Torkham crossing point.

He said at other land border crossings – Kharlachi, Chaman, Ghulam Khan, Angoor Adda – the increase has also been observed. “Regional economics is an important principle for bilateral relations,” Sadiq said, as the Federal Board of Revenue’s move to waive import taxes is meant to stabilise trade relations that were disrupted by the volatile situation in Afghanistan after the August 15 Taliban takeover and collapse of Afghanistan’s previous administration.

The duty waiver on fresh fruits from Afghanistan came into effect on September 25. When the decision was announced, Sadiq said it was an indication that Pakistan’s foreign policy has “moved to a geo-economic emphasis” and that it “will significantly help Afghan traders and farmers.”

The new Taliban government of Afghanistan had welcomed the decision and called for more bilateral trade. Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson of the Afghan foreign ministry, had said in a statement the ministry “welcomes the action of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” and called for “increased trade and transit between the two countries.”