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2nd Festival of India generates biz over Rs 105 crore at Buenos Aires
Nov '09
The 10-day-long Festival of India at Buenos Aires, Argentina, aimed at promoting export of handicrafts products and to develop Brand Image of Indian Handicrafts in the global markets,generated business and serious enquiries worth over Rs 105 crore.

The 2nd edition of the Festival of India, was organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) under the aegis of Ministry of Textiles, in coordination of Indian Embassy in Buenos Aires with the support of Mr. Hernan Lambardi, Minister of Culture of the Buenos Aires Government and Mr. R. Viswanathan, Ambassador of India in Argentina.

''EPCH organizes a number of such fairs out of India for the benefit of those foreign buyers who are not able to visit Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fairs held twice a year in February and October. These fairs help the local businessmen to know about Indian products which are competitive both in price and quality," said Mr. Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman, EPCH on the concuding day of the festival on Sunday, November 15, 2009.

Mr Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director of the Council, expressed satisfaction at the turnout of visitors at the festival and said that ''handicrafts was the worst affected sector during the global recession and with the present trend witnessed at Argentina, it is expected that there will be a complete turn around by April 2010."

The main attraction at the Festival of India was the exhibition of Indian handcrafted products displaying a range of textiles, furnishings, fabrics, costume jewelry and accessories,Kashmiri products and handicrafts, Christmas decorations, incense sticks, home decoration and giftware, furniture and fixtures.

About 35 Indian companies are displayed best of their eco - friendly products which were colorful, ethnic, modern in designs, exquisite craftsmanship at most competitive price and quality at the exhibition. Most of the products were even put up for sale and also for order booking for future supplies.

The other main components at the Festival of India were the performing arts everyday organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and a special promotion drive by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to attract Argentinians. This festival will lead to a growth in Indo-Argentinean Trade and Cultural relations. Argentina accounts for about an average 12% growth per annum.

More than six million craftspersons are directly employed in this sector all over the country and many million are employed indirectly in handicrafts industry in India in various aspects of manufacturing, processing, designing, packaging, research and analysis, marketing, shipping and exports.

The main markets for export of handicrafts from India are USA followed by EU, Middle East, Far East, LAC and Caribbean countries. India's handicraftsare being sold in developed economies of the world through departmental chains stores like Sogo of Japan, Macy, Bloomingdales, J.C. Penny of USA, Karstad of Germany, Marks and Spencers of UK and many other leading importers and distributors like Walmart, Pier1, Carrefour, May departmental stores, Gallerie Lafaiette of France etc.

The exports of handicrafts increased manifold from $1,858 million in 2000-01 to $3,481 in 2007-08 registering an average exports growth between 17-18% per annum. The exports declined by 14% in 2008-09 due to recession in the international markets. The exports to Argentina were $4.08 million during 2005-06 which increased to $4.96 million during 2007-08 and declined to $3.13 million during 2008-09 due to global recessionary trend.

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH)

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