Afghanistan aims to double trade with India to $2 billion by 2020

'Passage to Prosperity' will help develop economic ties between Afghanistan and international markets, and further advance trade integration, Abdali said.

August 30, 2018 / 06:03 PM IST
Foreign exchange earnings totaled USD
24 billion in January-October 2019, with a
growth (year-on-year) of two percent.

Foreign exchange earnings totaled USD 24 billion in January-October 2019, with a growth (year-on-year) of two percent.

Afghanistan is hopeful of doubling bilateral trade to $2 billion with India by 2020 and seeks private investments and co-operation in various fields, a senior government official said.

"Our bilateral trade with India is $1 billion at present and is expected to reach more than $2 billion by 2020. We seek private investment and cooperation from India in the field of agriculture, mining, heavy industries, education, healthcare, energy, IT and transportation," the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali told reporters here.

As part of economic development in war-ravaged country, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), India and government of Afghanistan announced the second annual "Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show" which will be held between September 12-15 in Mumbai.

More than 600 representatives from Afghanistan, India and international businesses are expected to attend the trade show. During the event, Afghanistan's textiles, carpets, gems, and jewelry will be on display for international buyers. Afghanistan vendors will also be able to sell their sample products directly to consumers.

'Passage to Prosperity' will help develop economic ties between Afghanistan and international markets, and further advance trade integration, Abdali said.

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During the first 'Passage to Prosperity' event, in New Delhi last year, Indian buyers and Afghan vendors signed over $27 million in contracts for raw and processed agricultural products. In addition, a number of Indian buyers and Afghan vendors signed MoU valued at nearly $214 million during the four-day event, and more than $10 million worth of carpets, gemstones, jewellery, marble, and food-related products were sold.

This year's event in Mumbai promises to build on the first show's successes and expand its impact by reaching beyond India, he said.

The ambassador pointed out that with USAID support, Afghanistan has been able to re-establish trade and export systems. Air cargo for Afghan exports is a speedy and cost-effective method in comparison to the road transport.

The direct flights between Afghanistan, New Delhi and Mumbai, will be also extended to other major cities of India.

At the press launch event, US Consul General Edgard Kagan said that the US is also committed to the economic development of Afghanistan as number of American companies are looking to invest in development there.

Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID/India deputy director, explained, "By creating meaningful partnerships, economic ties will be strengthened and employment opportunities will increase. The deals and connections that result from this trade show will have long-term impacts on both Afghanistan and India.
PTI
first published: Aug 30, 2018 05:56 pm

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