A year after the meeting
between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in
which a dedicated freight corridor between two countries was discussed, the
dedicated freight corridor has become a reality; the first cargo flight with
perishable goods reached Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
from Kabul on Wednesday, 27 December, 2017.
It must prove a welcome
facility particularly to the businessmen in Afghanistan since it provides a
direct link to trade and the farmers get a direct access to markets in
Maharashtra. This will give a boost to the economic growth of the country also.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and the consulate general of Afghanistan along with
senior diplomats welcomed the first cargo carrier that carried 20 tonnes of
apples to Mumbai. The outbound flight was loaded with 20 tonnes of bananas and
20 tonnes of tomatoes
The major exports from India to
Afghanistan constitute of man-made filaments, articles of apparels and clothing
accessories, pharmaceutical products, cereals, staple fibres, dairy and poultry
products, spices to name a few. While major imports from Afghanistan include
fresh fruits, dried fruits/nuts, vegetable, oil seeds, precious, semi-precious
Earlier, transporting cargo by road,
comprising of mostly perishable goods was difficult since it not only faced
logistical problems but also added to the cost of the goods while they passed
through various states.
The two governments aim to
increase the volume of trade between the two countries to about $1 billion in
the coming years from the current volume of trade which stands at roughly $ 350
million. This will make both the countries long-term partners and it is a part
of the government’s agenda of strengthening the bilateral trade relations
between India and Afghanistan.