Iran’s 9-month handicraft export rises 70% yr/yr

January 31, 2018

TEHRAN – The value of Iranian handicrafts exports, excluding suitcase trade, has witnessed some 70 percent hike in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year compared to the same period last year, an official said on Tuesday.

The current Iranian calendar year started on March 21, 2017.

The growth is associated with generating some 40,000 relevant jobs, Bahaman Namvar-Motlaq, deputy director of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO), said while addressing the closing ceremony of the second Fajr handicrafts festival, held at the Iranian Artists Forum in downtown Tehran.

Another speaker, CHHTO chief Ali-Asghar Mounesan reminded attendees of the organization’s goal to increase handicraft exports per annum to $2 billion by 2025.

“We foresee that the figure will reach $2 billion by the [Iranian calendar] year 1404 if the country attracts 20 million tourists per annum,” CHTN news agency quoted Mounesan as saying.

Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran is expecting to increase its tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

Of the total sum, one billion dollars is expected to be earned from “direct” exports and the rest through the suitcase trade, he explained.

Handicrafts exports from Iran hit a record high over the first four months of the current calendar year with 45.4 percent growth in contrast to the same period a year earlier.

Traditional ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are among Iranian exports to Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany, the U.S., the UK and other countries.

Over the past couple of years, dozens of Iranian handicrafts have gained the UNESCO Seal of Excellence.

PHOTO: A shop window displays handcrafted metalwork by Iranian artisans

AFM/MQ/PA

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