Trading With Afghanistan
Afghanistan is one of the more difficult regional trade partners by virtue of a number of factors, not least: poor infrastructure, over twenty years of conflict and terrorist activity, mountainous terrain, extreme weather conditions and to some degree, being land locked, numerous environmental disasters. All of these issues have made Afghanistan one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2016, according to MIT, Afghanistan exported goods valued at $482M and imported $3.77B of goods and services, leaving a negative trade balance of $3.29B.
Chronic political instability and a lack of democratic structures of governance mean markets and communities struggle. For this reason, Afghanistan is still largely regarded abroad as a mere transit country. Logistics infrastructure remains under-developed, with little private foreign investments in this sector.
In spite of these challenges, the local private sector is continuing to develop. With a population of around 35 million, there are many people aspiring to a better lifestyle. The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation develops strategy and planning of transport infrastructure. The government, with the support of allies, is undertaking various road, rail and air projects to facilitate better trade access.
Afghanistan borders China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan,Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Given CIS partners emergence together with the proximity of the burgeoning markets of Iran and hotbed of trade in China, despite the many hurdles the country has to overcome, the future could be much stronger for Afghanistan and her trade partners.