Afghanistan - Foreign trade



Although the Taliban had brought a repressive order to the 90% of the country under its rule, it was unable to attract foreign investment as long as it was unable to gain international recognition. Hyperinflation had increased the number of Afghanis (the country's currency) needed to equal one US dollar from 50 in the early 1990s to a virtually worthless 42,000 in 1999. On October 7, 2002, the first anniversary of the start of the US-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan, a new Afghan currency came into use. Also called the Afghani, the new notes were worth 1000 of the old notes, which were phased out. The government will exchange the dostumi currency, which is used in northern Afghanistan and named after the region's warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, into new Afghanis at half the value of old Afghanis. Around 1800 tons of old Afghanis were due to be burned or recycled.

The value of exports, including fruits and nuts, carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, and gems totaled an estimated $1.2 billion in 2001. Imports, including food, petroleum products, and most commodity items totaled an estimated $1.3 billion.

Principal trading partners in 2000 (in percentages) were as follows:

Afghanistan

COUNTRY EXPORTS IMPORTS
Pakistan 27.8 23
India 7.7
Turkmenistan 7.1
Japan 9.9
China (inc. Hong Kong) 4.9
Kenya 8
Belgium 13
Finland 6.8
Kazakhstan 10.9

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