India and Afghanistan to restart trade under new air corridor arrangement

A new Air Corridor has been signed between Afghanistan and India to facilitate air trade between the two nations. said the Afghan Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC). MoIC spokesperson Abdul Salam Jawad said that cargo flights between Afghanistan and India will increase exports of fresh and dry fruits, handicrafts and other commercial items, giving a boost to the Afghan economy.

Jawad also said that the export of “Afghanistan’s commercial commodities to India continues through Wagah port and that in the past year, the country has exported more than 14 billion afghanis via the port”. India is a big importer of saffron, dry fruits and asafoetida.

Trade between the two countries came to a halt when Taliban took hold of Afghanistan last year and NATO and American troops made an exit.

Initially only two air routes were used to transport goods between the countries – Kabul-Delhi and Kabul-Mumbai. The second route had been opened only in December 2017 for India to import fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan.

The cash-strapped Taliban government remains a pariah with international governments due to its resistance to include minorities and women in governance.

India has not accorded recognition to the Taliban government but has been providing humanitarian assistance in the form of food, vaccines and medicines. India has been routing its wheat through Pakistan and has also sent aid during natural calamities.

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