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Handicraft exporters eye unexplored markets
Sep '09
As the demand for handicraft products from major markets such as the US and the EU are still very low due to recession, the Indian handicraft exporters are focusing on unexplored markets of South Africa and Latin American countries.

Mr. R. K. Malhotra, Chairman, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Asian Handicrafts CMD said that the exporters are looking at new markets with strong demands to make up the losses occurred due to fall in demands from major markets.

In respect of exploring new markets, Handicraft exporters have also been encouraged by the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) of 2009-14. The policy offers provisions to consider all handicraft exports as special focus products that attract an incentive of 5 percent duty credit scrip.

In addition to this, more 52 items have been included in these special focus products and the market-linked focus product scheme has also been expanded. EPCH will organize exhibitions and buyer-seller meets in unexplored markets such as Argentina, Croatia and Hong Kong soon.

These meets would be organized with a view to offer exposure to the exporters in new markets and to generate business. EPCH usually organizes around 32 such meets in a year, but this year it would organize around 40 buyer-seller meets, informed Mr. Malhotra.

Handicraft products have much importance in FTP and the handicraft exporters also avail benefit of around 5 to 10 percent which allows them to lower down the prices of products.

Indian handicrafts experience highest demands from the US market and it accounts for 32 percent of overall exports of Indian handicrafts and the EU markets buys around 22 percent of overall exports from the sector.

But consumers in the US have sharply reduced the expenditure on handicraft items on account of recession which turned it into the worst affected sub-sector in the whole textile industry.

Exports, slipped down by 24.58 percent to $789.30 million in the first five months of the current fiscal (2009-10) and had contracted by 48.35 per cent to about $1.8 billion in the previous fiscal (2008-09).

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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