New Delhi: Afghanistan has offered to export high calorific value coal and base metals like copper and rare earth minerals to India.
“There is USD 3 billion worth of untapped trade potential between India and Afghanistan. Indian companies can export heavy machineries, textile, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fertilizers, while Afghanistan can export high quality coal, precious & semi-precious stones, gems, copper and rare earth minerals,” said Farid Mamundzay, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India.
He was speaking at an interactive session organized by World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI).
India can import coal of high calorific value (upto 12,000 kCal/Kg) at affordable cost from Afghanistan, instead of relying on distant countries such as Indonesia and Australia, said the ambassador of the landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia.
“Afghanistan can be a conduit for Indian exports of agricultural machinery, pharma, chemicals and other goods to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries. Overall, there is USD 7 billion worth of untapped trade potential within South Asia and Central Asian countries,” Mamundzay said.
Assuring Indian businessmen about economic stability in Afghanistan, He said: “There is no security issue in Afghanistan as many Indian firms are operating in that country. The exchange rate of Afghanistan is stable and Indian traders can settle their transactions directly using banking channels as there is no US sanction on Afghan banks.”
Speaking at the same event, Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai said: “India has centuries-old trade and cultural relations with Afghanistan. Both the countries should work together to implement the long delayed India-Afghanistan-Iran transport corridor which can reduce transport cost for intra-regional trade within South and Central Asia. India’s power production will get a major boost if we import high calorific value coal from Afghanistan.”
Kalantri said both the countries can exchange trade delegations to enhance trade volume, which has potential to double to USD 3 billion from USD 1.5 billion, which was the pre-pandemic high reached in FY20. We can strengthen trade through the Delhi-Kabul air corridor and the Chabahar Port, which is free from the US sanction and which is the shortest route to Afghanistan and central Asia.”