Mumbai, Aug 30 (IANS) Over 600 businessmen are expected to participate in the second annual “Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show’ in Mumbai from September 12-15, officials said here on Thursday.
Organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the governments of India and Afghanistan, the show will attract businesses from Afghanistan’s textiles, carpets, gems and jewellery sectors.
It will also provide an opportunity for businesses to develop partnerships, identify investment opportunities and engage in business relations in a wide range of sectors.
“Kabul and New Delhi share trade ties that span generations. However, Mumbai is less familiar to Afghan businesses and vice versa. By bringing ‘Passage to Prosperity’ to Mumbai this year, we hope to link Kabul to Mumbai and the rest of the world,” US Consul General in Mumbai Edgard Kagan said.
Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, said that with USAID support, his country has been able to re-establish trade and export systems.
“Air cargo for Afghan exports is speedy and cost-effective compared with road transport. By 2020, the India-Afghanistan trade is expected to touch more than $2 billion and ‘Passage to Prosperity’ will further advance trade integration,” Abdali said.
During the event in 2017 in New Delhi, Indian and Afghan businessmen signed contracts totalling over $27 million for raw and processed agricultural products, besides MoUs totalling $214 million, he said.
USAID India Deputy Director Ramona El Hamzaoui said: “Deals and connections that result from this trade show will have long-term impact on both Afghanistan and India. USAID is connecting the right people to make this a reality.”