Afghanistan is a fast emerging market of textiles and currently Indian exporters have negligible direct trade of textiles with Afghanistan which they sell to this market through third countries. Synthetic and Rayon Textile Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC), apex body of Indian textile industry and Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a delegation from Afghanistan for boosting direct export of polyester fabrics and made-ups from India, especially from MMF hub in Surat to Afghanistan.
The MoU was signed during the Afghanistan delegation's recently visit at Source India 2016 held in the city on August 13 and 14.
India is also looking at multiple export markets to reach Afghanistan. The reason being Afghanistan does not have textile manufacturing centres and it depends on import of fabrics. While, direct export from India to Afghanistan is negligible, but Indian fabric is being exported via Dubai, Karachi, Bangladesh.
According to SRTEPC vice-chairman Narain Agarwal, Afghanistan is a promising market for the export of textile fabrics from Surat and other MMF centres across the country. The banking system in Afghanistan is not very solid and thus Indian exporters have to depend on a third country to export. However, they are working out trade facilitation programme with Afghanistan's chamber of commerce in order to increase export of Indian fabrics.
The current trade with Afghanistan is valued at around $165 million, which includes export of fabrics worth $161 million, made-ups worth $3 million and polyester yarn worth $1 million. SRTEPC are expecting to triple direct export from India to Afghanistan in the next couple of years. Afghanistan traders are also more than willing to enter into direct business with traders in Surat and other places.
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