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    Afghan carpet industry struggling, say officials

    KABUL (PAN): Traders on Tuesday asked the government to pay a special attention to the country’s once lucrative carpet industry, experiencing a 75 percent cut in production and exports over the past six years.

    Addressing a news conference in Kabul, the Carpet Production and Export Association head, Muhammad Hadi Hussaini, said almost 1.6 million square meters of carpet was produced and exported in 2006.

    But the exports dwindled to 383,000 squre meters in 2011 due to internal and external factors, Hussaini said, citing lack of support from the government, power outages, inadequate transport facilities and fewer industrial parks.

    On the external front, he said, the current economic recession in developed nations and the use of alternatives to carpets had left the Afghan industry teetering on the verge of collapse.

    The association’s deputy head, Abdul Hadi Farzam, said industrialists had sought representation in the Cabinet’s economic committee. He urged the government to take measures for establishing industrial parks, specifically for the carpet industry, in Kabul.

    He believed they could find access to markets in Moscow and South Africa with government’s support.

    All Afghanistan Industrialists Association head Sherbaz Kaminzada said carpet was Afghanistan’s most ancient industry which had a key role in the country’s economic growth.

    Roohullah Ahmadzai, an official of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), told Pajhwok Afghan News that he would help carpet traders obtain the membership of the Cabinet committee.  

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