Afganistan flag Afganistan: Visió econòmica i política

Xifres de comerç exterior d'Afganistan

Foreign Trade in Figures

After the collapse of the Taliban Government in 2001, Afghanistan opened up to international trade. The state has very few commercial barriers for imported products, and customs duties have been kept flat given weak imports. The share of trade peaked at 49.2% of GDP in 2018 before falling to 45.6% in 2019 (World Bank, latest data available). Afghanistan traditionally exports items with low value, such as dried fruit, carpets, cotton, cereals and non-alcoholic beverages. Its main items of import include wheat, peat, textile and petroleum products. Although not officially recorded, opium remains the main export of the country (as of 2021, Afghanistan's harvest produced more than 90% of illicit heroin globally, and more than 95% of the European supply).

Afghanistan usually trades with its neighbours, with Pakistan being its major trade partner. Pakistan, along with India, receive around 75% of Afghan exports, followed by the United Arab Emirates, China and Turkey. Iran is the main supplier of goods in Afghanistan, followed by China, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. The poor state of its infrastructure, a legal and business framework that is still under development and continued insecurity act as de facto trade barriers. Nonetheless, at the end of 2015, Afghanistan's application to join the WTO was approved by its member states. Furthermore, the IMF and Afghanistan have been working to establish economic policies to improve the country's trade balance. The development of trade with Central Asia and Iran could increase exports along with the opening of a new railway linking China to Afghanistan via Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

According to the last available data from WTO, in 2020 exports edged down to USD 732 million from USD 864 million a year earlier; whereas imports increased to USD 7.1 billion (+5.8%). Concerning services, imports stood at USD 1 billion in 2020, while exports reached USD 597 million (-10.1% and +18.4%, respectively). As can be seen from the above figures, Afghanistan has a structural trade deficit, which is expected to worsen following the establishment of the Taliban regime.

Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 7,5807,4076,7777,1715,574
Exports of Goods (million USD) 7808758647321,037
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,0541,3111,1601,0420
Exports of Services (million USD) 2536215045970

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Trade Balance (million USD) -5,595-5,932-5,746-5,294-5,101
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -6,191-6,804-6,378-5,855-5,507

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

International Economic Cooperation
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Member of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC)

Member of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)

Member of the World Trade Organization (since July 2016)


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Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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