The 11th meeting of the Board of Directors of India-Afghanistan Foundation (IAF) was held in Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi on December 24, 2018.

Co-chaired by Mohammad Khairullah Azad, the Charge D Affairs of Embassy of I. R. of Afghanistan in New Delhi and Shri Vinay Kumar, Ambassador of India to Afghanistan, this meeting was attended by Prof. Abdul Ghafoor Lewal, Musa Arafi,  Gautama Mukhopadhaya, Noor Agha Noori, Janesh Kain as well as Vasudev Ravi, Secretary-Kabul Chapter and Hamid Tahzeeb, Secretary-Delhi Chapter.

In the beginning, the members discussed the decisions made in the previous meeting of the BoD held in 2017 and appreciated the outcome of the projects implemented during this year. The co-chairs of the meeting emphasized on the importance and impact of these projects on further strengthening the cultural and people-to-people relations between Afghanistan and India.

At the end, a number of projects which include both cultural and academic activities, suggested by the Delhi Chapter were discussed.

 

 

To invigorate trade and transit route, the Lapis Lazuli project was inaugurated by the Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Herat on December 13, 2018.  The first shipment of Afghan products including 175 tons of cotton, dried fruit and sesame is exported through the route within the frame of TIR Carnet.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony, President Ghani stated that Lapis Lazuli corridor is an important milestone in creating opportunities for Afghanistan to reaching the global market with array of hope of alternative ways to connect to the regional countries. He also emphasized on the importance of the transit route in boosting exports from Afghanistan.

President Ghani further stated that Lapis Lazuli is derived from the historic trade route which goes back to 2,000 years when Afghanistan’s Lapis Lazuli and other semiprecious stones were exported to the Caucasus, Russia, the Balkans, Europe and North of Africa.

 On the side-lines of Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA- VII), the Lapis Lazuli Agreement was signed in November, 2017 aiming to establish greater connectivity for enhancing trade in the RECCA region. 

The Lapis Lazuli route is a trade and transit cooperation between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The corridor connects the mentioned via road, rail and maritime.  Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) the cost of the project will exceed $2 billion.

 

The Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi, with the close cooperation of Indian International Centre (IIC) inaugurated the five day Afghan art exhibition held at IIC on December 11, 2018.

This exhibition witnessed participation of both Afghan and Indian artists and cultural experts including Mr. Mohammad Khairullah Azad, the Charge De Affairs of Embassy of I. R. of Afghanistan and Air Marshal Naresh Verma, IIC Director who officially inaugurated the exhibition by lightening the lamp.

Appreciating IIC for its cooperation in organizing this exhibition, Ajmal Alimzai, the Cultural Attaché of I. R. of Afghanistan in New Delhi spelled down the join Afghan-Indian cultural programs and plans. He emphasized on the importance of such programs in further boosting the cultural relations between the two nations.

The exhibition which will continue till December 15, 2018 is showcasing 80 pieces of paintings made of wheat straws and oil.

 

 

Afghanistan, as the partner country in 38th round of India International Trade Fair (IITF) received the gold trophy over the closing ceremony of this exhibition held at Pragati Maidan on November 27, 2018.

The ceremony was felicitated by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, the Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation and India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).

Afghanistan has been participating in the IITF since 2005 with an aim to extend its market in India. This year Afghanistan had 48 stalls including 12 stalls of women showcasing dried fruits, saffron, spices, carpets, gems, jewellery and handicrafts.

Afghanistan as the Partner Country and Nepal as the Focus Country, the 38th round of India International Trade Fair (IITF) was inaugurated in the presence of Indian and Afghan government officials in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on November 14, 2018.

The event was inaugurated by Shri Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture &MoS for Environment, Forest and Climate Change-India and Shri C.R. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.

During his opening remarks at the event, Shri Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that the IITF will provide a platform for all kind of businesses to showcase their excellence and a wide spectrum of services to trade, industry and common men.

On behalf of Afghanistan Mohammad Khairullah Azad, chargé d'affaires of Embassy of I. R. of Afghanistan delivered a speech. He lauded leadership of the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) for their diligent efforts in organizing the exhibition and said that it serves as a platform for the participating countries to stimulate their exports. He also appreciated the Governmentof Afghanistan and India for similar initiatives which have caused an extreme boost in bilateral trade relations between the two nations in the recent years.

Referring to Afghanistan’s participation in IITF, the Afghan Charge De Affair noted upon the products of Afghanistan showcased in the Afghan pavilion too.

Later on, the Afghan chargé d'affaires along with Khan Jan Alkozay, the Deputy Chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) inaugurated the Afghan exhibition pavilion in this exhibition.

This year Afghanistan is exhibiting products such as gemstones, marble, jewelries, handicraft, carpets, dry fruits as well as saffron.

Participation of Afghanistan in 37th round of the IITF created opportunities in extending business horizons to other regions of the world and therefore, took the lead to win the silver medal for ‘Excellence in Display’. The extravaganza event will conclude by 27 November, 2018.