3rd November, 2022
Eying China’s vast market, Afghan craftsman Bustan Barati has decided to increase the capacity of his small carpet-weaving workshop in a slum on the outskirts of his country’s capital of Kabul.
Barati’s workshop started exporting carpets to China in 2013.
“So far, we have sold about 5,000 metres of carpets to the Chinese market, which means 30 per cent of our products are sold there.’’
Born and raised in the slum, Barati said his life had changed a lot for his booming carpet business in China, which had earned him enough money to build a new house and buy a car.
Barati then planned to distribute raw materials to people living around and lead them to weave carpets together.
During the past two decades, the U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan had caused more than 30,000 civilian deaths and turned about 11 million people into refugees.
This leaving Afghanistan in desperate need of stability and rehabilitation.
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said earlier this year that Afghanistan was facing a potential non-reversible economic collapse.
A frozen banking system and liquidity shortage left as many as 80 per cent of people in debt.
An estimated 97 per cent of Afghans could be living in poverty by mid-2022, and regrettably, the number was being reached faster than anticipated, Steiner said.
Vice president of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment Khan Jan Alokozay told Xinhua that China welcomed Afghan goods such as carpets and pine nuts.
This would undoubtedly lead to the recovery of the Afghan economy and benefit the Afghan people who were suffering from hunger and poverty.
Afghanistan used to export 10,000 tons of pine nuts to China each year.
In spite of that, the country’s exports were disrupted last year, but China more or less resumed at the end of October with the first air shipment of 45 tonnes of pine nuts.
At the fourth China International Import Expo in 2021, 120,000 bottles of Afghan pine nuts were snapped up as soon as they were showcased.
Thousands of Afghans were now working with more than a dozen nut processing factories.