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Recession takes its toll on handicraft exports from Kashmir
27
Aug '09
Kashmiri handicrafts experienced a plunge in export orders, due to global economic slowdown, by about 41.23 percent during the fiscal 2008-09 against an export of Rs. 1200 crores in 2007-08.

Exports to European Union, the biggest consumer of Kashmiri handicraft products, have contracted deeply because of recession. The European Union consumes almost 60 percent of all exports.

Carpets that comprise 50 percent of Kashmiri craft exports have also been impacted drastically by the recession, said Mr. Hamid Punjabi, the Secretary General and Spokesman, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

Carpet exports during 2008-09 were valued at Rs. 326 crores, down by almost 50 percent of the sales achieved in 2007-08, which stood at Rs. 649 crores. Shawl Industry is the second highest hit industry that recorded a loss of Rs. 90 crore in its overseas sales. In the year 2007-08, woolen shawls such as Pashmina, Kani and Sozni saw exports worth Rs. 310.29 crores, against just Rs. 226.50 during 2008-09.

However, there was a surge of Rs. 8 crores in overseas sales of Papier Mache. Kashmir sold Rs. 41 crore worth of Papier Mache items in the international markets during 2008-09 against exports of Rs. 33.65 crores in 2007-08. But, other craft products like woodwork, chain stitch and crewel slipped down by Rs. 95 crore.

Traders made efforts to explore new markets in Africa and other regions for Kashmiri handicrafts but it did not create an impact, said Mr. Punjabi. Europe is expected to witness economic recovery soon, and by the end of ongoing fiscal year, trade will begin to pick up, expect exporters.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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