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China restricts imports of religious handicrafts
10
Jul '09
From July 1 this year, China has restricted the imports of religious handicraft items. This restriction could badly affect Nepal's handicraft exports to the northern market, said exporters.

The Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN) said that due to this restriction the handicraft exports to China has came into risk as handicrafts were the most exported goods to China.

This move will increase the trade deficit with China, which is above Rs. 22 billion, and also will leave an impact on the manufacturers and exporters of handicrafts.

The traders informed that they don't have any details about the restricted items and the notice of the announcement of restriction gave them just a week to deliver the in-hand orders. The news regarding the restriction was received by the trader's trough a notice that was put up on the Chinese side of the border.

As that notification was in Chinese, it didn't provide exact details about the announcement. FHAN has requested the Chinese Embassy to provide the notification in English, which could make the traders aware about the restricted items.

The federation has approached the prime minister and the major political parties to request the Chinese government to waive the restriction for Nepal.

As no reason has been mentioned in the notification for imposing the restriction on the imports of religious handicraft items, the traders assume that this announcement could be aimed at discouraging the religious feelings and activities of Tibetans.

The religious handicraft items from Nepal are favorite items of people in China and particularly in Tibet. As per the statistics of FHAN, in first nine months of the ongoing year Nepal has exported more than Rs. 8.35 million worth of handicraft items to China, out of which the religious handicraft items enjoyed 10 percent of exports.

These religious handicraft items included idols and figurines of gods and goddesses, prayer wheels, incense sticks, thanka paintings and other metal, silver and stone items.

However, according to the traders, there is a vast difference between official and unofficial figures for the export of religious items to China.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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