IN WHAT would be the first consignment of Afghan exports to India through Chabahar Port, Afghan carpets, dry fruits, cotton, talc and stones were sent from Afghanistan on Sunday.
While India has sent goods to Afghanistan through Chabahar port, this is the first time the port in Iran is being used — to bypass Pakistan — and trade with India.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani flagged off the first consignment of Afghan exports to India through Chabahar Port on Sunday at a ceremony held at Zaranj in Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province. The ceremony was attended by the ambassadors of India, Iran, Turkey and diplomats of Indonesia and Kazakhstan.
“The export consignment, loaded in 23 trucks consisted of Afghan carpets, dry fruits, cotton, talc, stones and other items weighing 570 tonnes,” a source said.
Security will be provided by commando teams from Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s elite intelligence agency, all along the route which goes from Nimruz to Chabahar.
This is expected to increase Afghan exports to India by more than 40 per cent, sources said.
India had sent consignment of 1.1 lakh tonnes of wheat, pulses and other assistance in over 4,800 containers to Afghanistan through Chabahar port since 2017.
In December 2018, the Indian company India Ports Global Limited had taken over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar.
Last month, direct shipping services were established between India and Chabahar Port.
The commencement of Afghan exports to India through Chabahar port has opened a new route to promote trade between India and Afghanistan. It will supplement the air freight corridor which was established in June 2017 and now extends between the cities of Kabul, Kandahar and Herat in Afghanistan and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.