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Proposal to set up trading centre for Afghan carpets

May '09
A plan is being chalked out for a permanent trading centre in Dubai to sell Afghani handmade carpets to improve the accessibility of Afghan carpet manufacturers to the international market.

The carpet-trading centre in the heart of Dubai which will cover an area of one million square feet is being carried out by the United States Agency for International Development (USaid) with the support of Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA).

This carpet trading centre in Dubai will comprise showrooms of about fifty leading Afghani carpet manufacturers. The centre will help the customers from all over the world including Europe and US, to purchase Afghan carpets directly from its manufacturers.

Through this centre, the customers will now be able to get rid of a number of middle men and traders, who used to take away the profits by selling products through Pakistan or Uzbekistan.

To complete the project by the end of 2009, Usaid has sought support from the UAE government and it is also expected that the centre will also help to attract more investments in the Afghan carpet sector.

An official from Afghanistan revealed that carpets account for 20 percent of Afghanistan's export and about 1 million people of the country are directly associated with carpet making.

Afghan carpets are now made and exported from Pakistan and Iran as many craftsmen of Afghanistan have left their homes and settled now in these countries, due to the war in the land-locked Central Asian country.

Both the manufacturers as well as carpet production have been affected badly because of this twenty-five years old war, which is forcing them to route the wares to Pakistan or Uzbekistan to sell to international customers.

The proposed permanent carpet-trading centre in Dubai will help Afghan carpet makers to sell their products directly to international wholesalers and it also has been planned to purchase a building accessible to the Dubai International Airport.

Currently, the carpets made in Afghanistan are labeled as 'Made in Pakistan' and 'Made in Turkey' or other countries and the war has left its mark on the country's carpet sector and helped other countries such as Iran, India and Saudi Arabia to capture global market.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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