Now that the Northern Alliance has allowed Afghan people to watch television again, China's major manufacturers are gearing up to supply them with the sets. Yesterday, officials from TCL Holdings, Shenzhen Konka and Haier said once the political situation in Afghanistan stabilised they were ready to provide televisions. During their five years in power the Taleban banned television. 'Because of political instability and a sharp devaluation of its currency there have been no exports to Afghanistan,' said an official with Konka - based in Shenzhen and with plants in India, the Philippines and Indonesia producing an annual output of one million, 100,000 and 400,000 sets respectively. All export to Pakistan. 'But the channels for export to Afghanistan are in place. China manufacturers have close contacts with distributors in India and Pakistan. As soon as the demand is there, we can deliver. 'Once the situation stabilises, then the opportunity will come,' the official said. TCL has plants in India and Vietnam. The head of its export division, Xie Zhihong, said TCL planned to this year export 1.2 million sets - mainly to India, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan. 'In recent years, China's exports of televisions to South Asia and neighbouring countries have risen as China becomes the world centre for making colour televisions. The three main exporters are China, South Korea and Japan. China has the lowest production costs and cheapest sets and its quality is equal to that of South Korea and Japan. 'As a result, Chinese sets dominate the market in South Asia and neighbouring countries. Their main demand is for cheap small and medium-size sets - from 14-inches to 21-inches. One 21-inch Chinese-made set in these countries costs US$120 to US$130, much cheaper than its rivals,' Mr Xie said. Customs figures show China last year exported 19.44 million television sets, of which 10.32 million were colour, up from 12.98 million in 1999, of which 5.69 million were colour. Low production costs have forced several major Japanese manufacturers to move production to China.