Pakistan’s carpet industry is likely to boost after China and Pakistan agreed to include handmade carpets in their free trade agreement.
The vice-chairperson of Pakistan’s Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Riaz Ahmed, told the media that the carpet sector had “hit rock bottom due to many trade-related challenges.”
The annual exports of handmade carpets in 2015 dipped to $68 million from $300 million the previous year; due to the rising transport fares, tax duties, custom clearances, and warehouse rent.
As a result, thousands of daily-wager women lost their jobs.
The aforementioned free-trade agreement will give hand-knotted carpets, among 313 other export items, duty-free access to China’s $2 trillion import market.
Riaz Ahmed further added that Pakistan’s handmade carpet’s “cheap labour costs are attractive for Chinese investors.”