August 30, 2018, MUMBAI: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of India, and the Government of Afghanistan announced the second annual “Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show” today. The event will take place at the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar Hotel from September 12-15, 2018.
More than 600 representatives from Afghanistan, India and international businesses are expected to attend the trade show. During the event, Afghanistan’s finest textiles, carpets, gems, and jewelry will be on display for international buyers. The last day of the show, September 15, 2018, is open to the general public. On this day, Afghan vendors will sell their sample products directly to consumers.
In addition to product sales, the event provides an opportunity for businesses to develop partnerships, identify investment opportunities, and engage in business-to-business matchmaking in a range of sectors. There will be opportunities in sectors including agriculture, energy, healthcare, higher education, mining, and heavy industry, and others. In addition to helping connect businesses, Indian attendees will share information with Afghan stakeholders about innovative business models, including how to cultivate enterprises focused on women’s entrepreneurship. During the three-day event, attendees will also be able to attend panel discussions on a range of topics, including a panel on Doing Business in Afghanistan. These panels represent an occasion for Indian and international businesses already working in Afghanistan to share their knowledge with others.
During the first Passage to Prosperity event, in New Delhi in 2017, Indian buyers and Afghan vendors signed over $27 million in contracts for raw and processed agricultural products. In addition, a number of Indian buyers and Afghan vendors signed Memorandums of Understanding valued at nearly $214 million during the four-day event, and more than $10 million worth of carpets, gemstones, jewelry, marble, and food-related products were sold. This year’s event in Mumbai promises to build on the first show’s successes and expand its impact by reaching beyond India.
At the press launch for the Second Annual Passage to Prosperity event, U.S. Consul General Edgard Kagan remarked, “Kabul and New Delhi share trade ties that span generations. However, Mumbai is less familiar to Afghan businesses and vice versa. By bringing Passage to Prosperity to Mumbai this year, we hope to link Kabul to Mumbai and the rest of the world.”
Dr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, remarked, “With USAID support, Afghanistan has been able to re-establish trade and export systems. Air cargo for Afghan exports is a speedy and cost-effective method in comparison to the road transport. By 2020, bilateral trade is expected to reach more than $2 billion between India and Afghanistan. Passage to Prosperity will help develop economic ties between Afghanistan and international markets, and further advance trade integration.”
Ms. Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID/India Deputy Director, explained, “By creating meaningful partnerships, economic ties will be strengthened and employment opportunities will increase. The deals and connections that result from this trade show will have long-term impacts on both Afghanistan and India. USAID is proud to be able to play a small role in connecting the right people to make this a reality.”
Several business chambers based in Afghanistan and India helped organize the event, including the Afghan Exporters Club, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the American Chamber of Commerce in India.
For more information about the Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show and to register, please visit https://www.passage2prosperity.com.