News ID : 154438
Publish Date : 11/2/2023 4:22:14 PM
Train of Tehran-Kabul trade relations has taken off once again


Train of Tehran-Kabul trade relations has taken off once again

Afghanistan was always one of the five export destinations of Iranian products before the Taliban regime. This process temporarily decreased after the Taliban came to power, and now, after two years of the presence of the Taliban in Kabul, the train of trade relations between Tehran and Kabul has started again.

NOURNEWS- “The trip of the political-economic delegation of Afghanistan to Iran” is a piece of news that was published in the media outlets in recent days, citing Mohammad Mahdi Javanmard Qassab, the economic advisor of the President's Special Representative for Afghanistan Affairs, and it followed the message that Afghanistan is going to return to the top of the list of Iran's business partners.

Removal of Afghanistan from Iran's most important trading partners

Looking at the trade statistics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it can be seen that in recent years, China, Iraq, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan have always been the biggest customers of Iranian non-oil products, but since 2022 and with the establishment of the Taliban-led government, Afghanistan was removed from the list of Iran’s top five export destinations.

Trade statistics show that in 2018, Afghanistan had 6.6% of Iran's export share by importing 6.6 billion dollars. This trend continued in the following years with not-so-significant changes - except for 2019 - but with these changes, Afghanistan was still among the top five destinations of Iranian goods until 2021.

In 2022 after the Taliban came to power, this process almost stopped and the amount of this country's imports from Iran reached one billion and 634 million dollars, which is the lowest amount in recent years, other countries, including India, replaced Afghanistan in Iran’s top five trade destinations.

Of course, this trend changed in 2023, and the Taliban-led government, passing through the crises after its establishment in Kabul, showed that it is gradually determined to strengthen its relations with its long-time trading partners, especially its neighbors.

Hossein Roustaei, Iran's trade advisor in Afghanistan, confirms this change in the approach of the Afghan rulers and says: Iran exported about one billion seven hundred million dollars to Afghanistan last year, and in the first four months of this year, the figure of exports to Afghanistan increased by 2 percent and has reached the figure of 508 million dollars, which shows that the declining trend of Iran's exports to Afghanistan has stopped.

This change of procedure in the economic relations between the two countries was the result of the 13th government in Iran's special view of its neighbors on the one hand and the attention of the Taliban-led government to develop relations with neighboring countries such as Iran, and was strengthened by the movement of economic delegations between Tehran and Kabul.

In this connection, Hamidreza Karbalaei Esmaili, the head of the Afghanistan desk of the Iran Trade Development Organization, traveled to Afghanistan in the last days of June this year and met and discussed with the commercial, commercial, economic and medical officials of this country.

Among the achievements of this trip, he mentioned reaching initial agreements in the field of completing engineering infrastructure and starting negotiations in the field of preferential tariffs and customs infrastructure.

According to the head of the Afghanistan Office of Trade Development Organization, during this trip, the parties prepared a list of 10 items of goods for the implementation of the first phase of preferential tariffs, which will be added to the number of these goods if approved by the parties.

He added that with the agreement of the parties, it was decided that the working hours of the border customs (Milk - Mil 78 - Dogharon) would be changed based on the needs of that customs to facilitate the export and transit process, as long as we do not stop the entry and exit of trucks.

An opportunity to export technical and engineering services

Always, a major part of Afghanistan's 6-billion-dollar import was related to food and agricultural processing industries, fuel, basic goods such as flour, wheat, sugar, edible oil, plastic products, sweets and chocolate, tomato paste, eggs, summer fruits, vegetables, Citrus fruits, tiles and ceramics, medicine, medical equipment, faucets, pipes, and construction fittings and construction materials such as cement and iron.

However, the current situation has changed and Afghanistan, as a war-torn country and a victim of 20 years of American occupation, now, in addition to providing daily needs including food and fuel, also needs to repair the destruction of the past years; Therefore, in the current situation, the export of technical and engineering services can increase its share even more than conventional goods in the past.

However, achieving and increasing the volume of past trade exchanges, as well as the development of economic relations between the two countries, requires the removal of trade barriers, facilitation of customs and transit processes, and the formulation of a long-term business strategy in general.

Investigating the new opportunities for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan and removing some existing obstacles along with the discussion on issues such as transit and mining cooperation are among the issues that will be on the agenda of the economic delegation of Iran and Afghanistan in the upcoming meeting.

BY: Mohammad Ghaderi 


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