For Immediate Release
Saturday, May 11, 2013
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- Afghanistan is home to 60 known deposits of 35 varieties of marble. To promote the growth of this sector, the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) organized a seminar on exports of the country’s high-quality marble products. The seminar presented an opportunity for the representatives of Afghan marble associations, marble traders, officials from the Afghan Marble Center of Excellence and other government officials to discuss challenges to trade and strategies to boost Afghanistan’s marble exports.
Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi opened the seminar by highlighting the vast potential of Afghanistan’s marble industry. “Afghanistan can export $700 million to $800 million of marble to other countries,” said Minister Ahadi.
The marble deposits of Herat province in western Afghanistan, Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, Wardak province in central Afghanistan, and Helmand province in southern Afghanistan are of similar, or better quality than the world’s biggest marble exporters, including countries such as Italy.
“The current world market for marble imports is estimated at $3.5 billion,” said Deputy Mission Director Jerry Bisson, noting that the industry has the potential to be a driving force in Afghanistan’s economy.
The seminar covered the issue of taxation on exports of Afghanistan’s processed marble; imports of low-quality marble from neighboring countries; tariffs imposed by other countries on marble coming from Afghanistan; and the best transport corridors for Afghanistan’s marble exports.
The seminar is one of many USAID efforts to facilitate the Afghan Government and private sector partnership in resolving challenges to trade and exports. Afghanistan has vast reserves of marble, minerals, and precious stones that can strengthen the economy, create jobs, attract investment, and improve livelihoods.
Last updated: December 10, 2013