The shoe industry has seen an increase in the market for its products in Herat in the last six months due to the “high quality” and “fair” footwear it produces, businesspeople said.
Nearly 250 small and big factories operate in Herat, providing at least 4,000 jobs. They produce almost 10,000 pairs of shoes every day.
Investors in the industry said the increase in the market is due to a reduction in the number of imported footwear from neighboring countries. They also said that the cost of raw materials has “significantly” reduced due to a reduction in tariffs on imported goods used for footwear production.
“More people are interested to buy locally made shoes,” said Abdul Wahab, the deputy head of the footwear industry association. “We can afford the needs of the market if the import of shoes is reduced further.”
Shopkeepers in Herat said the number of their customers has increased as people have started to trust in the footwear made in the country, especially in Herat.
“We are selling more shoes than in the past due to a reduction in imported footwear,” said Aqa Kalantar, a shopkeeper in Herat.
Herat factories produce at least 50 types of shows that are sent to other provinces as well.
Businessmen said the Taliban administration in Herat has vowed to support them in improving their businesses.