NEW DELHI: Afghanistan wants to double its volume of trade with India to two billion dollars by 2020, its envoy Shaida Mohammad Abdali said on Friday.
“Our trade volume has increased tremendously in the last few years. It has reached almost $1 billion between India and Afghanistan today. But the scope is much more and we are looking for $2 billion by 2020,” Abdali said at the exporters’ meet here.
“Export to India is increasing due to efforts on both sides. In Afghanistan, productivity has increased.” Goods transported from Afghanistan to India mainly comprise dry fruits and nuts, spices, fresh fruits, medicinal plants and handicrafts.
In an effort to further strengthen commercial and economic ties between Afghanistan and India as well as boost Afghan Agriculture exports to South Asia, more than 50 Afghan export firms participated in the two-day meet — Made in Afghanistan; Nature’s Best. The participants showcased their export items.
Abdali said about 80 per cent of Afghanistan’s population was dependent on agriculture and its major part of the revenue was generated from the farm sector.
He said the agriculture sector in his country was transforming as farmers were being provided cold storages facilities. Efforts were on to improve the food processing segment.
Ajmal Ahmadi, Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan, said the country had established air corridor connection with Delhi and Mumbai and 100 cargo flights were operated so far.
“We are planning to add more Indian cities such as Chennai and Hyderabad. Afghanistan still considers India as the largest market as it gets the ready market of one billion people for its agriculture and craft products.
Afghanistan is planning to add fresh fruits such as grapes and pomegranate to the export basket this year, Abdali added.
The meet was organised by USAID’s Commercial Horticulture and Agricultural Marketing Program (CHAMP) in a collaboration with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).
CHAMP is implemented by Roots of Peace, a non-profit organisation.
“According to the World Bank, more fresh and dried fruits are exported from Afghanistan than any other products. Fruit exports grew at a rate of 208 per cent from 2012 to 2015, while nut exports grew at a rate of 73 per cent during the same period,” said ACCI CEO Atiqullah Nusrat.
Another such meet is scheduled to happen in Mumbai in September.