KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan exports 90 percent of Afghanistan’s carpets to other countries under its own trademark, officials say.
Previously, they recall, 60 percent of Afghanistan’s carpets were exported to Pakistan and 40 percent to other countries.
The Afghanistan Carpet Production and Exporters Union head says before the fall of the previous government, 10 percent of Afghanistan’s carpets were sold domestically.
But currently only five percent of the carpets were sold inside the country, Noor Ahmad Noori told Pajhwok Afghan News.
In the past, 60 percent of Afghanistan’s carpets found their way to Pakistani markets. However, after regime change in Afghanistan, the exports had increased to 90 percent.
“Ninety percent of our carpets are now exported to Pakistan, from where they are exported to other countries under the trademark of Pakistan,” he claimed.
He warned if banking problems are not resolved in the country, carpet production and the industry would be seriously affected.
Noori asked the government to stop the smuggling of raw materials to foreign countries. He said carpet prices had increased by 50 percent due to the smuggling of these materials.
Rahmatullah, a carpet dealer in Kabul, told Pajhwok that all carpets were exported to Pakistan due to lack of air corridors with other countries.
He emphasised on an end to the banking crisis, urging the government to facilitate exports.
Mohammad Rafi, another Kabul-based dealer, noted a decline in exports and production of carpets.
“In the past, we exported carpets to Europe and America besides Pakistan. But now we export them only to Pakistan.
“Previously, the market was also better in the country. We used to sell one or two carpets a day but now we cannot sell one in a week,” he added.
A number of other carpet sellers made similar comments, asking the authorities concerned to resolve the problem.
Zabihullah Mujahid, government spokesman, told Pajhwok civilian flights from Afghanistan were operating normally, but commercial flights had not yet resumed.
In response to a question, he said: “Products which are exported are trademarked inside Afghanistan. We have no information what the process was in the past.”
He said the government was trying to reactivate air corridors for promoting the export of domestic products.
A few days back, domestic carpet sellers in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, also complained their business had been affected due to the import of foreign carpets into the country.