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Handicraft sector needs to catch pace with growing demand
Mar '08
A seminar was organized in Suva on March 12 by Covin English, an expert in US handicraft market trends and market entry techniques.

The seminar focused on enhancing the ability of the handicraft sector of Fiji to be exported to the USA through a better understanding of that particular market.

Indigenous handicraft sellers are calling on for Government intervention to help them with their business. Craftsmen had experienced a decrease in sales and it is only through proper understanding of the situation that exports can be increased to earn foreign revenue.

Experts believe that the handicraft industry of Fiji has immense potential to become a thriving sector of the country, earning millions, if the production level is organized systematically.

What was required on part of the craftsmen was the need to create awareness regarding export worthy production of goods.

Expert reports show that there is a huge demand for handicraft goods in the US, which stood at about US $455 million in 2007, to which Fiji contributed only about $6000 worth of goods.

Efforts are being made to link domestic exporters with potential buyers through Fiji's trade commission in the US. This will enable artisans to get their products sold directly in the American market and at an assuredly reasonable price.

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