Successful completion of 35th Indian international trade fair, Afghanistan’s great achievements and problems in exporting fresh fruits specially apples to India through Waga port were briefed to media during a press conference.
In order to raise the issue and attract attention of relevant ministries of government, ACCI organized a press conference on December 8, 2015. Which was attended by Mr. Alhaj Khanjan Alkozay Senior Vice-Chairman of ACCI, Mr. Alhaj Ahmad Tawfiq Dawari Deputy CEO of ACCI, Mr. Haji Farid Director of export committee of ACCI and a number of traders and fruit exporters of the country as well as national and international media.
At the beginning, Mr. Alhaj Khanjan Alkozay briefed the participants about the 35th international Indian Trade Fair, which was visited by around 18 million visitors, and termed it as an unprecedented event during past 14 years. Moreover he shed a light on day to day increasing export problems of the country and said that due to recent problem our traders have suffered a loss of one hundred million dollars. He also added that the loss in exports particularly in Melon products caused by heavy clashed in Kunduz province is around 60 million dollars.
Meanwhile Mr. Alkozay termed existence of Iranian and Indian economic mafias as a main result for current challenges in WAGA port. And said “Due to high quality of Afghan apple products and the lack of capacity in Iranian apples to compete with afghan apple is impeding the export of Afghan apples to India”.
On behalf of Afghan private sector Mr. Alkozay called upon government particularly urged the ministries of commerce, finance and foreign affairs to spare no efforts for overcoming these problems. He termed the existence of a commercial center as vital and asked the government to establish an Afghan commerce center in India in order to facilitate the trade between the two countries.
Then, Mr. Alhaj Ahmad Tawfiq Dawary counted the inclusive economic growth, creating job opportunities, facilitating the investment environment and enabling doing business, as main factors for reaching to economic stability of the country.
The 35th edition of India International Trade Fair was held on 14 – 27 November 2015 for 14 days in New Delhi city of India, where Afghani products including dray fruits, saffron, carpet, marbles, and handy crafts were exhibited in 28 booths by 50 companies. Fortunately, this year, Afghanistan was introduced as a partner country in this exhibition.
22 tons of fresh fruits worth 12 million Indian rupees including almond, nuts, raisins, peas, pistachios, dried apricots and some other kinds of fruits were sold out in this exhibition and Afghan traders were provided with the opportunity to ink more contracts with Indian companies.
Also three Afghan companies sold 10 kilo grams of Afghan saffron, which has high international reputation, worth 3.5 million Indian rupees.
Moreover an Afghan marble production company participated in this trade fair for first time, who have achieved many great achievements for Afghan marble industry, and could sell its product worth one million Indian rupees.
Mr. Alhaj Khanjan Alkozay met Afghan fruits traders and exporter at a side meeting in this exhibition, where they counted their problems as below: (it has been two months since Indian government has banned the import of Afghani apples to India through Waga port. And according to the recent decision of Indian government, apple could only be imported to Indian through Nhava Shiva port which in connected to Mumbai city. Using this port is considered as a big challenge for Afghan traders due to its long distance. Because the distance between Afghanistan and Nhava Shiva port is approximately 4 thousand kilo meters, whereas, the distance between Torkham and Waga port is 1200 kilo meters, through which Afghan transit tracks can reach to Waga port in one or two nights. From other side the distance between Waga port and Delhi City is very short and Afghan goods could be transported in one night to Delhi city of India. But export trucks are shipping the goods from Mumbai to Delhi in Almost 72 hours, which in most cases cause the putrefaction of the fruits).
When it comes to fresh fruits, it is worth mentioning that according to “SAFTA” agreement the Indian government is exempting 480 Afghan exporting good from custom tariffs. These custom tariff exemptions are being provided based on certificate of origin, but Afghan traders have to send their goods to Indian companies according to “SAFTA” agreement and Indian laws. Otherwise if they ship their goods by themselves they will not be benefited from exemptions. And annually Afghan Traders are suffering around 400 million dollars due to custom problems and lack an identified centers in Indian markets.
Hence ACCI firmly urges the Afghan government to take these problems into account as soon as possible and directly get contact with relevant Indian authorities in order to resolve the outstanding challenges.
To view the photos of this conference please click here.