Kabul Carpet Export Center: Reviving a Tradition
USAID Kabul Carpet Export Center booth at Domotex Rug Show, Hanno-ver, Germany. January 11-14, 2019
In January, the Kabul Carpet Export Center (KCEC) made its debut appearance at Domotex, the world’s largest carpet show, which each year brings together in Hannover, Germany, more than 14,000 carpet wholesalers and retailers from some 60 countries.
KCEC showcased carpets that had been made by Afghan manufacturers in designs supplied by KCEC in August. The carpets were completed in only four months. The quality of the carpets was high, as was their visibility at Domotex where they covered the walls of KCEC’s exhibition area with their rich jewel tones woven in patterns that paid homage to traditional carpets while at the same time offering something fresh.
KCEC was at Domotex to generate orders primarily from the major international rug wholesalers who produce large quantities of carpets in various countries. Many have voiced an interest in past years about importing directly from Afghanistan but said they had been unable to develop links with Afghan manufacturers.
KCEC is committed to fostering sustainable working relationships between the manufacturers and wholesalers. An early indication of KCEC’s success are the orders that were received at Domotex for 12,450 square meters from 11 wholesalers with a value of $1,793,000.00. These will be produced by 13 Afghan carpet manufacturers under KCEC’s guidance over the next 12 months. KCEC will handle their export from Afghanistan.
Assad Khal Mohammadi, an Afghan carpet manufacturer whose weavers in rural northern Afghanistan made one of the carpets in KCEC’s display noted, “We are hopeful that for the first time KCEC’s systematic approach to purchasing Afghan-made carpets will increase our access to international buyers, particularly wholesalers.”