Taliban rebels have stopped all imports and exports from India through transit routes of Pakistan after their recent takeover in Afghanistan, the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) has said.
FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai told ANI that the terror group has stopped movement of cargo through transit routes of Pakistan, thereby stopping imports from the country.
"We keep a close watch on developments in Afghanistan. Imports from there come through transit route of Pakistan. As of now, Taliban has stopped movement of cargo to Pakistan, so virtually imports have been stopped," Sahai told ANI.
"As far as exports are concerned, some of the goods are exported through the international North-South Corridor route which is going fine now. While some other goods go through the Dubai route also which is working," he added.
India has long-standing relations with Afghanistan, especially in trade. India also has large investments in Afghanistan.
"In fact, we are one of the largest partners of Afghanistan and our exports to Afghanistan are worth around USD 835 million for 2021. We imported goods worth around USD 510 million. But besides the trade, we have a sizeable investment in Afghanistan. We have invested around USD 3 billion in Afghanistan and there are 400-odd projects in Afghanistan some of which are currently going on," said Sahai.
He said India has healthy relations with Afghanistan in trade. Currently, the Indian export profile includes sugar, pharmaceuticals, apparel, tea, coffee, spices and transmission towers.
"Imports are related and largely dependent on dry fruits. We also import little gums and onions from them," the FIEO DG said.
Despite the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan, FIEO DG was optimistic about trade relations with Afghanistan.
"I am pretty sure over a period of time Afghanistan will also realise that economic development is the only way to move forward and they will continue with that kind of trade. I think the new regime will like to have political legitimacy and for that India's role will become important for them also," said Sahai.
The FIEO has expressed concern that dry fruit prices may go up in coming days as India imports about 85 per cent of dry fruits from Afghanistan.
"I will say that may not directly impact the prices but the very fact that one of the sources of import no longer exists, speculation of increase in prices is not ruled out," Sahai said.