India and Afghanistan have established a direct air freight corridor with a cargo flight landing from Kabul to New Delhi.
Speaking during the inauguration of the air corridor, President Ghani thanked the Indian Prime Minister for the support of the Indian government for turning the plan into the reality.
On June 18, a similar cargo flight from Delhi to Kabul carried 100 tons of cargo, primarily pharmaceuticals, water purifiers and medical equipment.
Modi said the direct (air freight) connectivity between India and Afghanistan will “usher prosperity”.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani today inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport.
The air freight corridor will give a fillip to the trade relations between the two countries and give landlocked Afghanistan a greater access to markets in India.
“During his visit to India in September 2016, President Ghani had urged Indian and Afghan businessmen to achieve a target of United States dollars 10 billion in trade over the next five years”, said Dr. Mittal.
Border crossings are often closed as Afghan and Pakistani forces clash over the border, and Afghan farmers have complained of fruit and other produce rotting without other options for shipping.
“Keeping with President Ghani’s vision, we have eased our visa regime for Afghan businesspersons”.
Mr. Ghani said on the occasion that the aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. It is allowed to send a limited amount of goods overland through Pakistan into India, but imports from India are not allowed along this route.
“These routes and corridors are aimed at providing sea, land and air access route for Afghanistan to regional and global markets in South Asia and beyond”, Mittal added. Afghan Ambassador Shaida Abdali was also present.
A second flight carrying 40 tonnes of dried fruits to India is scheduled to depart from the southern city of Kandahar next week.