The first cargo of Afghan goods was sent to New Delhi from Herat Airport on Monday, making it the third air corridor between Afghanistan and India after Kabul and Kandahar.
The shipment contained 200 kilograms of saffron and 1,600 kilograms of pistachios.
“Through air corridors, we can connect Afghanistan’s private sector with world markets and do not wait for Afghanistan to wait for a country, but Afghanistan has alternative routes,” said Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.
“India is a very big market and I am sure that once this saffron from Herat goes to India, you will not have enough saffron to export to India because then there will be so much of demand,” said Kumar Gaurav India’s Consul General to Herat.
Local officials expected that in the next flights, besides dry fruits and saffron other agricultural products and industrial goods will be sent to India.
“The opening of air corridors had enough benefits and we have also activated the Chabahar Port. We used to belong to one country in the past, but now we have a lot of different routes,” Herat Governor Abdul Qayum Rahimi said.
Officials from Herat Chamber of Commerce and Industries said the province has a high capacity in the field of exports, and that this sector should be supported.
“Our exports increased by 22 percent and our exports are increasing with the opening of the air corridor in Herat,” said Saad Khatibi, the head of the Herat Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Government statistics show that Afghanistan has so far sent 5,400 tons of goods, worth at least $100 million, to different countries through air corridors and in 425 flights.