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Right impetus may do the trick for Bhutan textiles

04
Jul '07
Throwing light on the export potential of Bhutanese woven textile, a study by International Trade Centre (ITC) consultants has revealed that a thorough educational program based on the standards of the international market could gear local traders in the right direction.

Presenting their finding to Bhutanese traders and business community in Thimphu recently, ITC consultants said that though Bhutan textiles lacked variety and finish, a perfect blend of the conventional and modern styles, coupled with better packaging and display, could go a long way in boosting their image as a textile exporting country in the global market.

International consultant Amy Sue Frey said that Bhutan's woven textile traders can also target museums and private collectors in the US and Europe to sell their goods. Bhutan's current textile demands are met by China, India and Thailand.

Giving an insider's view on the prevailing situation, national textile consultant Tshering Dolkar said that from her analysis, the top five export destinations for Bhutan were Japan, Canada, Australia, USA and the UK. Dolkar further added that Bhutan had about 4,000 weavers.

However, Frey sounded the alarm bell when she said, “High labour and importing costs are the main problems facing the woven textile market.”

“Though it is a niche market, we do not recommend mass production because there is competition from other countries,” she added.

Bhutan Trade Capacity Development Project coordinator Sangay Khandu viewed that lack of market information was the biggest obstacle to potential woven textile exporters.

Khandu said that the project would set up an information centre in the next three months to assist traders.


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