The country has vast potential for its own textile industry say analysts, yet clothing and fabrics are imported annually to the value of over $500 million.
Afghanistan Imports $500m Worth Of Textiles Annually
Officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Thursday said Afghanistan imports over $500 million worth of textiles/clothing on an annual basis. It is imported from China, Turkey, Korea, Iran, India and Pakistan.
Meanwhile a number of economic commentators have said the government should invest in rebuilding Afghanistan’s textile factories to curb the country's reliance on others for fabrics.
Analysts say Afghanistan has vast potential for fabrics and cloth.
“Currently we do not have production in Afghanistan, there are some factories in the country, but material is imported from abroad, this is an important industry which has been concentrated,” said deputy head of ACCI Khan Jan Alokozai.
“There is no production in Afghanistan's clothing sector, all of it is imported from abroad, but shoes are produced inside the country,” said fabrics importer Obaidullah.
Meanwhile residents have said that imported textiles and clothing is sold at higher prices at local markets.
“Businesses are not in good condition compared to the past, because people’s economic condition is not good,” said Yaser, a textile seller in Kabul.
“We need to undertake infrastructural work on this sector, the government should accept its responsibility. Government should work in this sector and use the cotton and raw materials which we have, so that textile factories are reconstructed,” said a shopper in Kabul, Nazir Ahmad Rahimi.
Economists say that if the government attracts investment in this sector, the country soon will become self-reliant.