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India & Afghanistan open air freight corridor

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MateenK View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20-Jun-2017 at 12:37am
India & Afghanistan open air freight corridor

India and Afghanistan have launched a dedicated air freight corridor to boost bilateral commerce averting bottlenecks created by Pakistan in land connectivity between Central and South Asia.

The flight, which carried 60 tonnes of cargo, was flagged off in Kabul by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the presence of several of his ministerial colleagues and Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about the air cargo corridor between two countries.

It said a second flight from Afghanistan's Kandahar city was expected to bring 40 tonnes of dried fruits to India. This corridor was initiated by President Ghani in 2016 when he had discussed upon it during his visit to India.

The cargo aircraft which carried high-grade Afghan asafoetida or "hing" among other goods, landed in Delhi and was welcomed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, and Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

Direct connectivity between India and Afghanistan will usher prosperity.

Modi and Ghani are looking at an ambitious target of US$10 billion (US$1=RM4.28) in annual trade in five years. The ministry also eased its visa regime for Afghan business-persons, apart from increasing the duration of stay for Afghan tourists and patients since February this year. Indian officials said the service aims to improve landlocked Afghanistan's links to markets overseas and boost the growth prospects of its agricultural and carpet industries, Reuters reported.

Now major exports from India to Afghanistan are man-made filaments, apparels and clothing accessories, pharmaceutical products, cereals, man-made staple fibres, tobacco products, dairy and poultry products, coffee, tea, meat and spices. The significance is that it will now be a direct route that bypasses Pakistan.

India on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to assist Afghanistan "in all possible ways in its political, security and economic transitions to ensure emergence of a sovereign, united, democratic, pluralistic, stable, peaceful and prosperous country".


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