The Kabul Times.
Economic

Challenges ahead of Afghan carpet industry

By: Masouda Qarizada

Although Afghan carpet enjoys particular popularity and reputation globally but unfortunately due to lack of essential attention to this industry its production in recent few decades has been moving on a descending course and its export to foreign markets have been concerning decreasing. Attributing reduction of Afghan Carpet products to inattention in carelessness of relevant government officials, Afghan carpet production Association authority said that if no attention is focused to this industry it would be annihilated. This body claims that every month over 60000 squares meter Afghan carpet are exported to Pakistan and after processing are supplied to world markets. As one of the important and ancient and famous industries of Afghanistan, Afghan carpet was a key export item of the country and its exports made a considerable part of our national revenues. But since few decades this lovely industry has been fading continuously and lack of support of government has caused it that our carpet products be first exported to Pakistan and then be supplied to world markets.
Lack of attention to this manufacturing industry and reduction of its direct exports could inflict heavy blow on Afghan national economy and carpet producing families.
Therefore, the officials in charges are requested to pay serious in this industry.
Chairman of Kabul carpet exporters Union Qurban Ali Jamshidzada said, “We can say that prior to 1390 solar year, our carpets were at the top of the table but now unfortunately it is on the seventh or eighth rank”. The government is expected to pave essential qualitative and quantitative ways for development of carpet industry and encourage and support carpet producers, exporters and dealers. One of the national carpet exporter traders and dealers who has a carpet shop in chicken street Mohammad Ashraf Karimi “Afghan carpets are exported to external markets including European and American markets with trade mark of Pakistan. But the Turkish and Iranian carpets have directly and strongly affected Afghan carpets and producers fail to compete with them in domestic market that has made the Afghan carpet producers to produce low quality and cheap carpets instead of original and high quality carpets with huge expenditures”.
Continuation of carelessness to popular industry may pave the way for abuse of opportunists of capabilities and innovation of Afghan carpet producers and in that case we would be witnessing supply of Afghan carpets with trade mark of other countries.
Supply of handmade high quality Afghan carpet in universal markets with Pakistani trade mark has caused serious concern among Afghan carpet producers and exporters. Afghan carpet producers claimed that the Pakistan government offers encouraging packages through Pakistani traders and businessman to Afghan carpet producers inside Afghanistan to led them to supply and export Afghan carpets after processing to American and European markets with Pakistan trademarks.
Chairman of Kabul carpet Union Qurban Ali Jamshidzada added, in average four long tracks loaded with Afghan carpets that amount to 60000 squares meters’ carpet are sent to Pakistan and then after processing are exported and supplied to world markets with Pakistan trademarks.
He added, because carpet exporting private companies send and sell Afghan carpet without processing and packing to Pakistan and availing this golden opportunity, Pakistani exporters and traders process and pack them with their own trademark and supply to foreign markets.
Afghan carpets are sold US$ 70 per each square meter to Pakistani businessmen and then they are sold by Pakistan traders US$120 or higher per each square meter to American and European customers.
Afghan carpet industry is an ancient and historical business of a background of over 4000 years prior to Ariayee civilization and empire. The Ariayees had produced and high quality sheep wool and produced high quality carpets in the world.

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