Officials of Afghanistan and Iran agreed in a meeting that Afghan goods trucks can cross into Iran without having to present bank guarantee letters. In addition, border tariffs will also decrease.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries officials on Monday said both sides recognize the need to implement the World Road Association agreement and to lower transit costs.
According to the Afghan ministry officials, the drop in tariffs will hopefully increase exports from Afghanistan to Iran, India and Persian Gulf countries.
“It was a productive meeting and scrapping the bank guarantee (regulation) for Afghanistan’s trucks has been a big achievement,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Muafir Quqandi during a press conference in Kabul.
Statistics show that Iran has in recent times become a major trade partner to Afghanistan and that bilateral trade has crossed the $2 billion/year mark. According to Jaber Ansar, the Afghan commercial attache to Iran, Iran holds a 22% share ($2.5 billion) from Afghanistan’s $11.5 billion consumer market.
Afghanistan’s exports to Iran have been as little as a dozen million dollars on average over the past decade.
According to Mohammad Mehdi Javanmard Qasab, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran’s Afghanistan Desk, Iran exported $2 billion worth of goods to Afghanistan during the 10 months to Jan. 20, unchanged compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Exports mainly included chemical products, construction materials, metal, rebar, pastry, chocolate, food and floorings.
Iran’s imports from the neighboring country during the period mainly included unprocessed stones and silkworm cocoon to reach $16 million, registering a 14% decline year-on-year.