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Handicraft exports likely to touch Rs 170 bn over next 3 years
Feb '11
With soaring demand from markets like the US, Africa and Latin America, the handicrafts exports from India is likely to touch Rs 170 billion over the next three years.

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Chairman Raj Kumar Malhotra said that, they are now targeting markets which are either unexploited or under-exploited and where there is potential demand for Indian handicraft products like in Central Asia, Latin America, South East Asia and Africa.

Handicraft exports of the country grew by some 26.7 percent to Rs 72.84 billion during the initial 10 months of current financial year, as over the corresponding period during the last fiscal.

The EPCH Chairman said that, they expect to conclude the current fiscal with handicraft exports of around Rs 115 billion, and are looking forward to hit Rs 170 billion in exports during the next fiscal year.

The sector is still struggling to revive from the effect of the global economic slump, and hence they are not fixing any impressive targets for the next three years, the official said and added that, the sector needs time to completely shed off the effects of recession.

The government is eyeing to boost the country's overall merchandise exports by over two times to around $500 billion over the next three years.

Hand-printed textiles and scarves, shawls, metal and wood wares, embroidered goods and imitation jewellery are all included in the list of the India's key handicraft export items.

The handicraft sector in India is highly labour intensive and serves as a source of livelihood for around six to seven million workers. The sector mainly sources its exports to the US and Europe.

Around 2,300 exhibitors from within the country are likely to participate and display their products at the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair, while more than 6,500 overseas buyers from 31 countries particularly from Central Asia, Latin America and Africa too would take part in the expo, Malhotra said. He further added that, last year they booked orders worth five billion rupees during the fair, while this year they are expecting it to provide them a business of eight billion rupees.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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