Afghanistan-India Air Corridor inaugurated
Monday, 19 June 2017 - In the ceremony held at Hamid Karzai international airport on Monday, 19 June the Afghanistan-India air corridor officially inaugurated by H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E Manpreet Vohra, Ambassador of India in Kabul, Mr. Alhaj Khanjan Alkozay first vice president of BoD, Mr. Atiq Ullah Nasrat, CEO of ACCI, Mr. Haji Mohammad Younas Mohmand, Commercial deputy of BoD, Mr. Captain Mohammad Nader Omar head of Ariana Afghan airlines Co., ministers and advisors to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and a large number of members of the private sector (traders and craftsmen).
Firstly, Siddiqullah Majididi, the president's adviser on finance & banking and responsible for Afghanistan-India corridor, said: "Afghanistan-India commercial air corridor is one of the initiatives in the field of trade growth that announced by the President of Afghanistan and Prime minister of India in 2016 and it’s officially launched today. "
Mr. Majididi stated the goal of Afghan-India corridor is to raise the level of trade and economics between the two countries and removing transit barriers, he said that on the first flight, 60 tons of agricultural products which worth $ 5 million would be transported to Delhi, India through the Afghan-India Corridor. For another week, 40 tons of dried fruit will be transported to India at a cost of $ 2 million in the second flight from Kandahar airport to India.
Alhajj Khanjan Alokozy, the first vice president of BoD on behalf of the private sector, thanked from the India and the leadership of the National Unity Government, especially from the President of the country, for the establishment of the Afghanistan-India Air Corridor, he said: “In the early days of government the private sector's transit problems brought to the president and today we are honored to open the Afghanistan-India air corridor.”
He said that the transit efforts of National Unity Government like, Aqina-Turkmenistan railway, transit relations with China, opening of the Chabahar, Iran-Torghundi railway, and the opening of the Corridor could provide the ground for the growth of trade, and we appreciate it, thank you president!
Mr. Alokozay added that the Afghanistan-India corridor is a new chapter in the cooperation to strengthen trade and economy and a large capacity has now been created for the storage, processing and export of fruits in Kandahar province, he also promised to have the memorandum of understanding between the Chambers of Afghanistan and India to establish a joint business center in the near future.
"It's rarely seen that a public policy will be put into a state of thought within a year, but the government of National Unity and the Afghan president showed and proved that." Said Manpreet Vohra, Ambassador of India in Kabul.
Mr. Vohra said: “The opening of such commercial air corridor is a strategic solution to the long-term problems that the Afghan business community faces and, thus, relations with the largest market (India) are being provided for Afghan businessmen of agricultural products.”
Mr. Vohra added: "The Afghan transit problem has now become an opportunity for the Afghan president, and this corridor between Afghanistan and India is an example." He assured that the necessary facilities are taken to get the first Afghan-Indian cargo flight at the Delhi airport of India.
H.E President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani appreciated the efforts of the authorities to promote the opening of the corridor, he said: "Those who create the crisis will learn how to turn the crisis into opportunity."
President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani added: “Me and Moodi have come to a conclusion in a short time on the creation of Afghanistan-India air corridor and today we actually see the results.”
The president emphasized on the export of Afghan products and ensuring that the products are not wasted and so as to develop the Afghan products, much support will be provided to the private sector of the country.
President Ashraf Ghani headed the Customs of Hamid Karzai International Airport to examine the problems of the private sector in exporting products and report to the presidential palace within two weeks.
It’s worth mentioning that in 2016, Afghanistan's exports to India totaled $ 2,300 million, and the import of Afghanistan from India was $ 200-250 million. Certainly, the Afghanistan-India air corridor will increase the country's export and import levels to 50% over the current situation.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries believes that the establishment of the air corridor for export commodities will not only increase the level of trade between Afghanistan and India, but also will make positive impact on the country's businessmen in the markets.