In 2020, the total trade turnover between the Central Asian and South Asian countries amounted to US$4.4 billion. The assessments came from the Uzbek Center for Economic Research and Reforms (CERR).
The largest stakes in the mutual trade belong to Kazakhstan (52.8%), Uzbekistan (31.2%) and Turkmenistan (10.4%), said Obid Khakimov, Director of the CERR, at the online conference “Cooperation of Central and South Asia: why it is important in the region and beyond”.
However, the CERR data shows there is sufficient untapped potential. Trade with South Asia accounts for only 3.2% of the total external trade turnover of the region, valued at US$ 142.6 billion.
The comparative analysis of the Central Asian exports and South Asian imports proved that in terms of the coinciding commodity items, imports of South Asian countries neared US$ 560 billion.
According to the CERR, in 2019 India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan imported mineral fertilizers worth US$8.6 billion.
The same year the Central Asian countries exported US$ 384.3 million of fertilizers, including US$ 32.3 million worth of chemical fertilizers were delivered to the countries of South Asia.
Afghanistan accounts for a lion share of exports from Central Asia in the South Asian direction, because of geographical proximity and availability of transport linkages.
However, as the head of the CERR mentioned, the Central Asian countries “are interested in expanding economic cooperation with the countries of South Asia, especially with Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.” There is a potential to increase the export of food, wheat, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts. ///nCa, 9 July 2021