For the third year in a row, Afghan carpet makers and dealers showcased their country’s best handmade carpets at Domotex, the world’s premier flooring trade show, held annually in Hannover, Germany. With financial and logistical support from USAID, Afghanistan’s carpet sellers enjoyed their most successful trade event ever, recording $12,116,500 in sales – a 400 percent increase over the event sales of 2009.
The fair reported a record number of visitors, and nearly 90 percent of the entire inventory of the Afghanistan pavilion was sold in deals made with buyers from Europe and the USA. Afghan carpets also achieved industry recognition, with Nomad Ltd./Chak Palu winning the award for Standard Modern Carpet Design.
Trade fairs like Domotex not only generate significant sales for Afghan traders, but also offer participants the opportunity to learn about international business practices and raise the visibility of Afghan products in the international marketplace. The successful performance at Domotex 2010 is largely due to the experience that Afghan traders gained by participating in similar events over the past few years.
The Afghanistan Pavilion at Domotex 2010.
“I have learned many different things, and now I have more knowledge of the international handmade carpets market. I received orders from different companies from Japan, Holland, Norway, the UK, Spain, and the USA,” said Abdul Hakeem, CEO of Afghan Rugs, a participant at the fair. “It will not only benefit Afghan weaver families, but also the economy of our beautiful country, Afghanistan.”
USAID supported the Afghan participation in Domotex through its Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) project, which provides business development services to encourage the establishment and growth of small and medium businesses, a major driver of the country’s economy. The project sponsored two Afghanistan pavilions, the shipment of carpets, production of a catalogue and other marketing materials, and a business-to-business event during the show.