Afghanistan has been in turmoil in recent months, following the US decision to withdraw its troops from the Central Asian country. This tumultuous withdrawal resulted in the Taliban regaining power quickly, while the Afghan economy was severely harmed as a result of this change of guard. Moreover, there is a high probability that other nations will look to cut down on their trade with Afghanistan in the near future.
Their concerns are understandable, as they will not want to do business with a militant group such as the Taliban. This organization is already involved in risky activities like terrorist financing and money laundering. So, what effect will the Taliban have on Afghan trade? This blog examines the key ways in which the Afghan trade industry will likely suffer.
Reasons Why Afghan Trade Is Unpredictable
The first and most obvious way in which Afghan trade is likely to suffer is that the world's leading countries may reduce their purchases from this country, leading to a negative impact on the country's exports. Similarly, Afghanistan may also find it more difficult to import goods from various parts of the world, which would severely harm the country's economy.
"The Taliban have counted on the Afghan opium trade as one of their main sources of income," stated Cesar Gudes, the head of the Kabul office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "More production brings drugs with a cheaper and more attractive price, and therefore a wider accessibility."
According to the UN and Washington, the Taliban are involved in all aspects of the drug trade, from poppy cultivation to opium extraction and trafficking, as well as exacting "taxes" from cultivators and drug labs and charging smugglers fees for shipments bound for Africa, Europe, Canada, Russia, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.
Second, the previous Afghan government's overseas funds are likely to remain frozen for a long time. Several countries, including the US, have already stated that these funds will not be transferred to the new regime. In such a scenario, obtaining even the most basic necessities from other parts of the world could become extremely difficult for Afghanistan. This means a devastating impact on the Afghan economy as well as the daily lives of the Afghans will be inevitable.
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