The 2019 "Passage to Prosperity: India - Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show," supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), saw Afghan firms sign deals and pre-contract agreements valued at over $55 million. In particular, the exhibition yielded benefits for the agricultural sector, which generated $46 million in new business. Non-agricultural sectors signed more than 30 pre-contract agreements valued at approximately $9.8 million.
More than 1,000 people attended the event, which took place September 24 - 26 in New Delhi. The exhibition included matchmaking sessions for buyers and sellers to exchange information, network, and negotiate deals. The event also provided an opportunity for leading Afghan businesses in dry and fresh fruits, nuts, spices, marble, gems, jewellery, textiles, home decor, and business services to display their products and explore partnerships with their Indian counterparts.
USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director Tina Dooley-Jones said the trade and investment show demonstrates the potential of the private sector to stimulate economic growth by bringing capital to the most productive sectors and sustainably creating employment.
"USAID, in partnership with the governments of Afghanistan and India and more than a dozen Afghan and Indian private sector associations and businesses, support the Passage to Prosperity because we believe that private investment and export-led economic growth are essential to regional prosperity and stability, especially for Afghanistan," she explained.
This year, in order to increase economic and livelihood benefits for women across Afghanistan, USAID has given greater emphasis to facilitating trade linkages between Afghan and Indian women-owned businesses, associations and chambers of commerce.
Buyers and entrepreneurs, including Indian businesses, were able to develop new connections and explore business opportunities with industry leaders and trade experts from Afghanistan. These new partnerships will foster economic growth and improve business outcomes in both countries.