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Carpet exports drop 90pc due to air-corridor closures

AT News

KABUL: The exports of the Afghan carpets have dropped by 90 percent due to closure of the air-corridor system that transports the Afghan stocks and goods to China and European countries.

Chief executive officer of the chamber of commerce and industry, Shafiqullah Attaye said that air-corridor was halted after the government didn’t pay the 345 million Afs payment to the private airline companies. “The airlines are not ready to transport our goods and stocks in a subsidy format and therefore exportation via air-corridor was halted because they have three million dollar loan on the government,” he said.

The traders said that they should pay 14 dollar per one square meter of a carpet to transport their carpets to China and European countries. They said they were unable to pay high price for transportation of their carpets via air-corridor.

“We export some carpets via air-corridor to China and Europe but unfortunately the air-corridor is blocked now,” said Mohammad Hadi Hussaini, a member of the Afghan traders association.

The government previously paid for 80 percent of the expenses to transport the carpets via-corridor. The traders then paid 50- 60 cent dollar for one square meter.

The Afghanistan Bank announced earlier that it has solved the financial issue of air-corridor but the traders said it has still remained unsolved.

Meanwhile, the ministry of industry and commerce is working on schemes to resume the air-corridor.

“The ministry of industry and commerce will soon inaugurate a package for private sectors to increase the export of carpets,” said a spokesman for the ministry, Fawad Ahmadi.

The association of carpet production and exportation said that transporting one square meter of carpet cost 70 dollar that could be sold 90 dollar in China and 100 Euro in Europe.

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