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AISA emphasizes on increased consumption of local products

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By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Emphasizing on promotion of the local products for economic growth, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) on Saturday said that despite adequate capacities for production of goods at local level, Afghanistan is still a consumer country.

Chief of the AISA claimed that annually hundreds of millions US dollars are earned by exporters.

Mohammad Qurban Haqjo said that required human resource is available in the country for production of high quality goods but the government was not supporting domestic production.

Visiting a footwear making factory in Joy Sher area of the capital city, he said that one of the products that Afghan traders import from foreign countries is footwear.

He said that the government alone imports around one million pair of shoes annually for security forces which cost over $200 million.

Every year Afghans use 20 million pairs of shoes. Three big and 250 small factories could meet the need. Import of low quality and cheaper shoes from Pakistan and China have flooded the country’s markets and influenced the domestic production, he said, adding that local shoe-making factories are facing different challenges.

“Lack of electricity, industrial parks, leather processing factories, and low customs duty on imported goods are major challenges faced by the domestic manufacturers,” he said.

He said that leather is exported to Pakistan for processing which is bought by the Afghan shoes makers at high cost.