The Taliban takeover in Aafganistan has adversely impacted the import-export trade in India — the largest beneficiary of Afghanistan’s exports — a development that has left traders, especially those importing dry fruits, worried.
Afghan exports to India include dried raisins, walnut, almond, fig, pine nut, pistachios, dried apricot, and fresh fruits such as apricot, cherry, watermelon, and medicinal herbs. India’s exports to Afghanistan include tea, coffee, pepper and cotton, toys, footwear, and various other consumable items, traders said. Most of the imports from Afghanistan transit through are currently stuck which may cause heavy losses to the traders, who may also see large amounts of payments blocked. Director General and CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Ajay Sahay told IANS, “We have been given to understand that shortly, they (Taliban) are taking a review because the Taliban have said that they will see that businesses will not be affected. Not sure, how long it will last, but as of now, this is the situation.” Bilateral trade between India and Afghanistan stood at USD 1.4 billion in 2020-21 as against USD 1.52 billion in 2019-20. Exports from India were USD 826 million, and imports were aggregated at USD 510 million in 2020-21, according to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a premier organisation of eight crore traders across India.