Chinese goods flood Hamedan, outsell Persian handicrafts

August 9, 2010

TEHRAN -- The Ganjnameh historical site near Hamedan, a major center for Persian handicrafts and earthenware, is flooded with Chinese goods.

Walking in the old bazaars of the city once filled with different types of handicrafts, the market is now filled with shoddy, cheap ceramic imports from China.
This is a bitter story of indifference by officials to producers of handicrafts, and pottery makers in Hamedan.
Handicrafts deputy director of the Hamedan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department, Tahmineh Danilai, upon visiting the Ganjnameh site expressed her concern on seeing the market filled with Chinese products.
Located five kilometers southwest of Hamedan, Ganjnameh is home to an ancient inscription carved in two sections on a granite rock on Alvand Mountain.
Visiting the seventh Handicrafts Exhibition held in Hamedan last week, she lamented that unauthentic products are being sold to tourists and visitors across the city while the city enjoys one of the finest and most venerable handicrafts market in the country.
She mentioned that based on the resolution passed by the president last year, foreign handicrafts are forbidden to be sold at historical and cultural sites, adding, “Our artists and craftsmen must try to preserve the fine quality of their products to rival those in the international market.”
She later stressed that Hamedan Province must have better programs for its handicrafts market and said, “If we make additional progress in our production, surely more people will welcome Iranian products.”
The provinces of Isfahan and Gilan have been more practical in carrying out the resolution and Fars Province is also joining in. “Hamedan needs to take serious action as well.”
Hamedan Province is home to 25,000 artisans and craftsmen with 13,000 workshops.
Over the past decade, Chinese goods have infiltrated into the Iranian market, leading to many bankruptcies in the agricultural sector and in various industries, such as the textiles, shoe-making, and the handicrafts industries.