The Taliban have stopped all imports and exports with India after entering Kabul and taking over the country on Sunday.
Dr Ajay Sahai, Director General (DG) of Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) said that currently, the Taliban has stopped the movement of cargo through the transit routes of Pakistan, thereby stopping imports from the country.
“We keep a close watch on developments in Afghanistan. Imports from there come through the transit route of Pakistan. As of now, the Taliban has stopped the movement of cargo to Pakistan, so virtually imports have stopped,” FIEO DG said.
India has long-standing relations with Afghanistan, especially in trade. India has a large investment in Afghanistan.
“In fact, we are one of the largest partners of Afghanistan and our exports to Afghanistan are worth around $835 million for 2021. We imported goods worth around $510 million. But besides the trade, we have a sizable investment in Afghanistan. We have invested around $3 billion in Afghanistan and there are 400-odd projects in Afghanistan some of which are currently going on,” Sahai said.
“Some of the goods are exported from the international north-south transport corridor route which is fine now. Some of the goods go through the Dubai route also which is working,” he added.
Sahai said India has healthy relations with Afghanistan in trade. Currently, Indian export profile includes sugar, pharmaceuticals, apparel, tea, coffee, spices and transmission towers. “Imports are related and largely dependent on dry fruits. We also import a little gum and onions from them,” FIEO DG said.
Despite the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan, FIEO DG is hopeful and optimistic about trade relations with Afghanistan.
“I am pretty sure over a period of time Afghanistan will also realise that economic development is the only way to move forward and they will continue with that kind of trade. I think the new regime will like to have political legitimacy and for that India’s role will become important for them also,” DG FIEO said.
The Federation of India Export Organisation expressed concern that in the coming days dry fruit prices may go up due to the turmoil in Afghanistan. India is importing around 85 percent of dry fruits from Afghanistan.
“I will say that may not directly impact the prices but the very fact that one of the sources of import no longer exists, speculation of increase in prices is not ruled out,” Sahai said.