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Dark shadow on India’s exports to Afghanistan as political uncertainty and delayed payment issue deepen

As per FIEO estimate, India exports goods worth US$ 825 million to Afghanistan. Imports from Afghanistan stand at about US$ 510 million.

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New Delhi: Amid Taliban take-over of most parts of Afghanistan including its capital Kabul, India’s US$1.3 billion trade with the war-torn country has started feeling the heat. With Afghanistan’s borders with Pakistan sealed, imports from the land-locked country has already been affected and uncertainty looms over exports from India.

“They have sealed borders with Pakistan and thus import through land route has been stopped,” Ajay Sahai, DG & CEO, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) told UNI.

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He said that since exports from India to Afghanistan take place through the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) or Dubai it has not been affected so far except uncertainties surrounding the future.

As per FIEO estimate, India exports goods worth US$ 825 million to Afghanistan. Imports from Afghanistan stand at about US$ 510 million.

India’s exports to Afghanistan include tea, coffee, cotton, toys, footwear, and other value-added products. Imports from Afghanistan include dried raisins, walnut, almond, fig, and pine nut among others.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of Delhi-based Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that currently the imports and exports shipments are stranded (at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border) which may cause heavy losses to the traders.

“Huge amounts of payments are likely to be blocked which will put traders in a vulnerable situation. The Government must take cognisance of it and help the traders in event of facing a financial crisis,” said Khandelwal.

He noted that private players will have to deal through third countries to export to Afghanistan but it all depends on how the situation takes place.

“Exports from India would completely stop as now there will be an issue of timely payment,” said Khandelwal.

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