Afghanistan on 24 February 2019 began exports to India through the Chabahar port in Iran. This is the first time Afghanistan has exported goods to India bypassing the Pakistan route.
The first consignment of exports to India was flagged off by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. While inaugurating the new route, the President said that the Chabahar port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran, and Afghanistan and it will ensure economic growth.
1. The consignment will then be shipped from Chabahar to the Indian port city of Mumbai.
2. Afghanistan’s exports are expected to increase from $1 billion to $2 billion after the opening of the new trade route.
3. According to reports, twenty-three trucks carrying 570 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from the western Afghan city of Zaranj to Chabahar in Iran.
4. The Chabahar port is expected to help Afghanistan transform from an importer country into an exporter country.
India has played a huge role in the financing and development of Iran’s Chabahar Port in order to enable Kabul to get direct and easy sea trade access. India successfully shipped 1.1 million tons of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port in 2017. In the same year, India also launched an air corridor with Kabul for bilateral trade.
According to Indian envoy to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar, the air corridor has since helped increase Afghan’s exports to India by 40 percent. The United States also last year waived off certain anti-Iran sanctions to allow the development of Chabahar to support efforts aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.