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Pakistan closes border to Afghan cotton exporters

The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry confirmed Pakistan has implemented new regulations on the cotton industry and has stopped the import of Afghan cotton. Afghan cotton exporters also confirmed the development disclosing that numerous trucks have been prevented from crossing the border with cotton since the last 20 days. They said that the drivers have since turned back and are now offloading cotton in Kabul and storing it at a warehouse.

Businessmen in the cotton export sector said Pakistan has stopped all cotton trade across the border. Various Afghan economists said numerous cotton processing companies have started up in the country following an increase is cotton cultivation.

They said the decision by Pakistan to stop the cotton from being taken across the border will have a serious impact on Afghan business. Musafer Qoqandi, spokesman for the ministry of commerce and industry announced that the ministry will resolve the issue, “We have also begun discussions with the private sector on how to work on a fundamental solution to the problem with Pakistan, we know that this new procedure is difficult and it is impossible to take our cotton to Pakistan,” said Qoqandi. Data from Afghanistan show that the country annually produces over 60,000kg of cotton, a large portion of which is exported to Pakistan.