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How Exhibitions are Broadening Afghanistan’s Business Horizon

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Afghanistan Bussiness

By Neelapu Shanti

Afghanistan has been witnessing a range of changes in global trade paradigms, unveiling new emerging markets and channels for global business expansion. International exports have seen significant growth. Made In Afghanistan, Passage to Prosperity, India International Trade Fair, India International Mega Trade Fair are the exhibitions that Afghanistan partner to establish significant dimensions in trade and investment opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainability.

Afghanistan is extending global and regional partnerships for peace, investment, trade, and transit. The national interest focuses on a mutual benefit that caters on a regional and global platform through collaborations.

Afghanistan’s active engagement in exhibitions in India is an integrated commercial policy: a focused approach to negotiating trade policies with countries crafting the right give and synching this in the economic domain. Afghanistan grows stronger when export grows; invariably exhibitions set a benchmark in the global competitiveness sphere. Opportunities through exhibitions build and strengthen trade network across the region and promote the worthy cause of economic cooperation. Afghanistan’s trade and investment exhibitions are rapidly creating positive avenues to seize prospective markets in India and across the region.

International exports have seen significant growth. Made In Afghanistan, Passage to Prosperity, India International Trade Fair, India International Mega Trade Fair are the exhibitions that Afghanistan partner to establish significant dimensions in trade and investment opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainability.

Passage to Prosperity

Afghanistan creates opportunities for exporters to connect with buyers, explore business relationships and establishing a competitive edge in growing agricultural markets across the region, ‘Passage to Prosperity’ funded and organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) started in 2017.

There were tremendous opportunities and potentials created through this exhibition with USD 27 million trade and investment contracts signed between Afghanistan and India in 2017. The second edition of ‘Passage to Prosperity’ exhibition was held in 2018 in which 2,000 companies participated, including 200 Afghan traders, 1,200 Indian traders and more than 100 international buyers. During this exhibition, 10 contracts were signed in agriculture, health, mining and energy, 166 trade deals, and 600 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).The total worth of MoUs and contracts were estimated around USD 360 million.

Made in Afghanistan

‘Nature’s best’ supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with India is an initiative to propel economic prosperity in Afghanistan. Made in Afghanistan’ Exhibition’s vision to unlock agricultural potential for economic empowerment. In 2018 Afghanistan revenue accounted to 67 million USD including 40 million USD contracts and 27 million USD MoU’s worth with Indian and international buyers. This positive trend continues to 2019 where the total worth of sales and MoU’s leads to 110 million USD.

India International Trade Fair (IITF)

Afghanistan has been seeking unique opportunity in the India International Trade fair supported by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), Government of India. IITF is essentially an important pathway for Afghanistan to showcase the products and explore business relationships. Afghanistan has been participating in IITF since 2005 that has created a niche for buyers and sellers which are appropriate to enhance business relations with different countries. Afghanistan has taken the lead to win the Silver medal for ‘Excellence in Display’ at the 37th IITF in 2017.

This 14-day long exhibition is an initiative to reach global markets and prospective buyers and sellers. Afghanistan aspires to hold a prominent position in the global market for agricultural products, handicrafts, spices, carpets, gemstones, and jewelry partnering with India.

It is important to note that such exhibition creates new opportunities for Afghanistan in bringing countries closer to achieve shared objectives. Being an emerging economy in South Asia, Afghanistan and India’s agricultural sector is complementary to each other. In this exhibition, buyers and sellers from Afghanistan and India grab marvelous opportunity to enhance trade ties between them that mark a significant relationship of both the nations.

IITF is a marvelous opportunity to introduce Afghan items to India and showcase Afghanistan’s potential and economic vibrancy and eagerness to grow. Over the years Afghanistan has generated a market in India. In 2018, fifty-six Afghan companies exhibited products including fresh and dried fruits, gem-stones, carpets, handicrafts, jewellery at the IITF generating revenue of I million USD.

India International Mega Trade Fair

Afghanistan exhibited in the India International Mega Trade Fair – Kolkata in 2018. The event exhibited an impeccable destination for the main entrepreneurs to discuss new patterns and most recent developments in the separate business and investigate and spread their business in the worldwide business sector. Afghanistan introduced businesses through more than 200 unique products, services, and business opportunities in gemstones, jewellery, dry fruits and nuts, saffron and spices, leather goods, cashmere, silk apparels and marble products for significant buyers, sellers and investors of the Indian market.

Afghanistan offers a pro-business minded environment with legislation favorable to private investments. The principles of a free market economy are incorporated in the new Constitution just as the growth of the private sector is a cornerstone of the National Development Strategy.

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