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All Eyes on Afghan Rugs at Las Vegas Market

On January 29, the highly anticipated “Afghan Inspirations: Rug Renaissance, Coveted Traditions” was launched by Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Mir Mohammad Amin Farhang, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Israel Hernandez and Ambassador Said T. Jawad. The exhibit brought a delegation of authentic rug producers from Afghanistan to exhibit the beauty of the fine art of Afghan rug weaving to a wide audience of international buyers and brokers at the famed World Market Center home furnishings exhibition at the Las Vegas Market.

Addressing a capacity crowd of international furnishings buyers, U.S. business leaders and U.S. government officials, Ambassador Jawad expressed the gratitude of the Afghan government for the assistance of the U.S. Department of Commerce in assisting Afghan producers in their attempts to connect to U.S. markets.  He highlighted the importance of rug weaving in Afghanistan’s culture dating back to the Bactrian Empire 2500 years ago, as well as their prominent role in rejuvenating Afghanistan’s private sector.

 “We are very proud to be here with you to showcase a vibrant symbol of our  country’s rich culture, long history, legendary art and meticulous craftsmanship,” he said. “Afghan rugs are known around the world for their magnificent beauty and designs. Today, we proudly celebrate reaching a new marketing milestone for our magnificent rugs. When you purchase an Afghan rug you are not only making a great investment on a piece of art with a long and rich history that you will keep for generations.”

The Exhibit was on display at the World Market Center from January 28-February 1. The event is being sponsored by USAID and organized jointly by the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce with major support from the Economic, Trade & Investment Department of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.

“This partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce will increase business ties, stimulate trade and assist Afghanistan to establish vendor relationships to export their impressive hand-woven rugs, which are among the cultural products they are known for around the world,” said Tim Branscome, vice president of international business development for World Market Center. 

Afghan rugs were introduced into U.S. markets at the world renowned Atlanta America’sMart International Area Rug Show last January. This event in Las Vegas serves as a continuation of the Embassy’s support for rug producers from Afghanistan to showcase their intricate work to interested U.S. buyers. This new Rug Exhibit has already matched the success of the Atlanta show, where almost 80% of the Afghan rugs were sold just hours after the doors opened. The Afghan delegation expressed great happiness to the show organizers for their efforts and looked forward to their continued business connections in the coming days.

For more information on the current exhibition visit: www.lasvegasmarket.com.

For more information on U.S. efforts to strengthen the Afghan Rug industry, visit: http://trade.gov/afghanistan/

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