Afghan Voice Agency (AVA) - Kabul: Carpet weaving is one of Afghanistan's most important export industries. Despite the challenges, this industry is still active and a major part of Afghanistan's carpet production is exported abroad. This industry, which is one of the oldest industries in Afghanistan, forms the economic infrastructure of thousands of families in the country, so the government's attention to carpet production has increased.
Officials of the Western Afghanistan Carpet Sellers Union say that in 2023, the trend of carpet exports has increased and between 80,000 and 100,000 square meters of carpets will be exported every month. However, according to Rafi Naderi, the head of the Western Afghanistan Carpet Sellers Union, due to the lack of a direct market for Afghan carpets, they have to export their carpets to the world through neighboring countries.
Naderi told the local media in western Afghanistan that most of the carpets produced in Afghanistan go to Pakistan and then are exported from this country to America and European countries. Afghan businessmen, who used to export carpets to foreign countries, do not have much desire to export carpets to world markets due to the lack of reliable airlines and Afghanistan not being connected to the international transit system.
Meanwhile, Afghan carpet traders say that inside the country, the carpet market is stagnant and few people are currently involved in this industry.
Haji Abdullah Ebrahimi, the head of the West Afghan Carpet Exporters Union, who is now residing in Germany, tells The Independent that the market and domestic demand for carpets has decreased drastically in the last two years. According to Ebrahimi, for this reason, most of the carpet production workshops in western Afghanistan have ceased to operate.
He says that the companies that used to transport carpets to Europe and America in the form of cargo (cargo) are no longer active inside Afghanistan. For example, in Germany, only two Afghan businessmen are still active in the field of carpets, while in the past, only in Germany, dozens of Afghan businessmen were active in the field of carpets.
According to Abdullah Ebrahimi, only a few types of carpets from northern Afghanistan, including Chobrang, Mohammad Khani and Turkmani carpets, are still exported to world markets, but the carpet of western Afghanistan, which happens to have a lot of name and fame, has been abandoned.
Domestic carpet sellers in Herat also confirm that the carpet market has slowed down. Abdul Khaliq, a carpet seller in Herat, says that no one comes to his shops to buy carpets. They also have to send a part of their carpets, which has an international market, to Pakistan, and Pakistani businessmen then export these carpets to western countries.
Throughout history, Afghanistan's exports have relied more on handicrafts and fresh and dried fruits. But the political developments in Afghanistan in recent decades have also made the export of these limited items difficult. After the fall of the republic, the level of Afghanistan's exports suddenly decreased because most of the neighboring countries closed their borders to Afghanistan for a limited time. Of course, the process of export and import returned to normal after a while, but the export of various items, including carpet, which is one of the most important export items of Afghanistan, was disturbed.
However, officials of the Islamic Emirate in the Ministry of Trade and Industry say that Afghanistan's export sector has grown and the country's products are exported to the world. Bashir Sirat, the head of the Department of Industry and Trade in Herat, says that the officials of this department are improving the packaging of carpets for export to foreign countries. An issue that will definitely have a positive effect on increasing the direct export of Afghan carpets in the world markets.