Indian Textiles Minister for doubling handicraft exports

India’s Textiles Minister K Sambasiva Rao has urged the country’s handicraft exporters to double their exports over the next three years, and also to explore new markets.
 
Speaking at the 19th Export Awards function, organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) in New Delhi, the Minister said India’s handicraft exports should be doubled over the next three years.
 
Indian handicraft exports registered US$ 3.3 billion in fiscal year 2012-13.
 
The Minister also urged the handicraft exporters to explore emerging markets like African and Latin American countries, as well as China, as 70 percent of the present exports are destined to the US and European countries.
 
The Minister said there is good demand for Indian handicraft items in Latin America and the EPCH has demanded setting up of a warehouse in Latin America to maintain a ready inventory of Indian handicrafts there.
 
The setting up of warehouse in Latin America would help boost India’s handicraft exports to the region, Mr. Rao said.
 
He assured the Textiles Ministry’s support to handicraft exporters for penetrating into new markets.
 
He said the handicraft exporters should upgrade their technology for production of handicrafts in large volumes, as has been done by the Southeast Asian countries.
 
At the function, about 65 awards were presented to handicraft exporters for their excellent export performance during the year 2011-12.
 
Textiles Secretary Zohra Chatterji said there is a need for creating a Sector Skill Council for Handicrafts and Carpets to impart skills training to artists across various clusters, and thereby help them in increasing their productivity.
 
EPCH chairman Lekhraj Maheshwari said India’s handicraft exports grew 12.49 percent to US$ 665.24 million, during the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2013-14, and the export target for the current fiscal is set at US$ 3.842 billion.
 
Moradabad, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Saharanpur are key centres for making handicrafts in India. The sector serves as a source of employment for around one million people.

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