India is looking at increasing export of manmade fabrics to Afghanistan. This will include polyester fabrics and made-ups. The current trade with Afghanistan is valued at around $165 million, which includes export of fabrics worth $161 million, made-ups worth $3million and polyester yarn worth $1 million.
Afghanistan is a promising market for the export of textile fabrics from Surat and other manmade fiber centers across the country. Afghanistan does not have textile manufacturing centers and it depends on import of fabrics. But Indian exporters have a negligible direct trade in textiles with Afghanistan. They sell to this market through third countries. Direct exports from India to Afghanistan are negligible. The fabric is being exported via Dubai, Karachi, Bangladesh.
The banking system in Afghanistan is not very strong and Indian exporters have to depend on a third country to export. However, Indian export bodies are working out a trade facilitation program with Afghanistan in order to increase exports of fabrics. The hope is that direct exports to Afghanistan triple in the next couple of years.
India and Afghanistan have similar fabric cultures. Pashmina fabric is very popular in Afghanistan and Surat is a manufacturing center for the fabric.