Afghan merchants on Monday said that carpet exports have been significantly reduced due to the closure of air corridors. Domestic sales have also decreased, they said.
“We have products, but exports have stopped, said Mohibullah Kohi, a merchant. “The air-corridor existed before, the ports were opened, and we exported products to Europe, the US, the UAE, and to India.”
The domestic market has also been affected. “During the past 40 to 50 days, our business has been severed. We had customers outside (Afghanistan) ... We sell the carpets but can’t transfer the money,” said Mohammad Ayoub, a trader.
Samira, who has been working in the carpet industry for more than four years, said: “The situation has changed more than ever because earlier the price of the carpets was good and the work we were doing was worth the money, but since the Islamic Emirate came, the carpets we are weaving are not being exported to foreign countries and the price has dropped.”
This comes as the chamber of commerce and investment said that if a substantial market is not found for the carpets, the industry will collapse.
“The air corridor has been closed for the last month and beyond one month,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, a member of the chamber of commerce and investment. “This has caused big damage to our exports, our exports have not only been reduced, but have completely stopped.”
Afghan carpets recently comprised a billion-dollar-per-year industry.