Passage to Prosperity: Indo-Afghan trade show in Delhi can be a game-changer

Projecting Afghanistan as a narrative of economic opportunity, a signature India-Afghan trade show has opened in New Delhi that seeks to nurture and expand economic bonds between Asia’s third largest economy and the resource-rich violence-wracked country.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley jointly inaugurated the three-day India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment show at a luxury hotel in New Delhi on September 27. The show, fittingly entitled “Passage to Prosperity,” could be a potential game-changer in attracting greater Indian investment into a violence-torn country wracked by a festering insurgency led by the Taliban.
The trade fair showcases typical Afghan products like carpets, gems, dry fruits and marble, for which the country is famous for, and seeks to forge business linkages between Afghan traders and entrepreneurs with their Indian counterparts. Over 200 Afghan and 800 Indian companies, encompassing diverse sectors, including health, education, energy, water and agriculture sectors, are participating in the mega show.
The trade fair emanates from India’s declared commitment to bolster Afghanistan economically at the Heart of Asia Ministerial conference, held in Amritsar in December 2016.
In a first of sorts, the US is partnering in this trade show, which underlines a growing connect between India, Afghanistan and the US to proactively cooperate in the economic rejuvenation of the violence-beset country. The trade initiative will reinforce US President Donald Trump’s Afghan policy which envisages a bigger economic and developmental role for India in the stabilisation of Afghanistan.

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