Kabul Carpet Export Center (KCEC) to revive the traditions

USAID Kabul Carpet Export Center Project under AJCP was launched officially.

Rob Leahy, KCEC Project Manager Explaining the ARS1200 to the Manufacturers, KCEC Launch, 18 August 2018. 

On August 18, 2018 the Kabul Carpet Export Center was officially launched. The center aims to play a key role to revive the carpet weaving industry which has been an integral part of Afghan heritage over centuries, reflecting both the struggles experienced in contemporary times as well as optimism for the future. 

Though world demand for Afghan-made carpets is strong and growing, the carpet sector is facing significant challenges. Chief among them is that most Afghan carpets are sent to Pakistan for washing, cleaning, cutting, brushing and packaging. Carpets finished in Pakistan are marketed as ‘Made in Pakistan,’ though they are actually woven by Afghans.  The Kabul Carpet Export Center (KCEC) has been set up to make it possible for Afghan carpet manufacturers to export directly from Afghanistan and thus build the Afghan brand. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported the establishment of the KCEC under the Afghanistan Jobs Creation Program (AJCP). The KCEC will strengthen the capacities of Afghan carpet manufacturers to provide the international market with high-quality handmade carpets and ensure that all aspects of production and shipping meet customers’ expectations.  The KCEC also operates in innovative short-term export financing program that is available to carpet manufacturers. Increase sales of Afghan carpets would be a key deliverable for the Project and thus KCEC will introduce international buyers to Afghan carpet manufacturers and then nurturing the relationship between them as orders are placed and carpets produced.  

The launch event was attended by the representatives of Afghan Carpet Association, Afghan Carpet Guild and 18 other carpet manufacturing companies from different parts of Afghanistan who have all agreed to prepare a sample carpet to be exhibited in the Domotex carpet shows in Hannover (Germany), Atlanta (USA), and Shanghai (China) in the first three months of 2019 through KCEC to secure them orders.