Officials from the Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) reported on Friday that since the start of the industrial trade show in Kabul four days ago roughly two million USD worth of contracts have been signed.
Alongside Afghan nationals, businessmen from various countries, such as the United States, Turkey, India and the United Arab Emirates have visited the exhibition and brokered deals with Afghan companies.
According to AISA, the greatest interest has been shown toward dry fruit, herbal oil, woodcraft, beverage, honey and fresh fruit products.
"This time, the interest of visitors and foreign businessmen has been unprecedented," AISA official Ahmad Walid said. "We hope that more contracts are signed, but our initial statistics indicate that so far contracts worth up to 100 million Afghani have been signed during the exhibition."
A number of fresh and dry fruit companies have secured exporting contracts with foreign businesses. "We signed two contracts with a Turkish business on the basis of which we export dry and fresh fruits at a cost of $500,000 annually," one Afghan businessman named Mohammad Gul said.
The industrial trade show was inaugurated by President Ashraf Ghani at the Loya Jirga tent earlier this week. It is intended to enhance domestic production and industrial growth, and there are a total of 120 stalls at the event.
The products at the trade show represented a variety of different sectors and sub-sectors of the economy, presenting a wide spectrum of Afghan-made alternatives to the foreign products that currently dominate the market. The products being showcased at the event include, but are not limited to, construction materials, food items, home appliances, home decorations, medical equipment, carpets and detergents.
Members of the business community, independent economic analysts and government officials all agree that boosting domestic production and industrial growth is key to sustainable economic development in Afghanistan.