Handicraft exports sees ten-fold rise to $2b

October 23, 2017

TEHRAN – Iran has set a goal to increase the value of handicraft exports per annum to $2 billion by 2021 from currently around $240 million, the director of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) said on Saturday.

Exporting $2 billion worth of handicrafts is projected to be achieved by the end of the tenure of the incumbent administration (August 2021), said Ali-Asghar Mounesan, adding that the target would be met through [appropriate] marketing.

To date, a total of 370 fields of handicraft as well as around 400,000 craftspeople and artisans have been registered in the country, IRNA quoted Mounesan as saying.

“There is untapped potential to double the number of people employed in this sector. Taking their whole family members into account, the sector can engage up to four million people.”

Mounesan lamented Iran’s current world ranking in terms of handicrafts exports, saying “Iran assumes the 31st position despite having considerable potential.”

According to statistics, the country’s handicrafts exports, excluding traditional jewelry and suitcase trade, hit $240m in the past Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017), witnessing a 36.3-percent rise year on year.

Handicrafts exports from Iran hit a record high over the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-July 22, 2017) with 45.4 percent growth in contrast to the same period a year earlier, Pouya Mahmoudian who presides over the CHTHO exports department announced in September.

Traditional ceramics, pottery, handwoven cloths as well as precious and semi-precious gemstones were amongst the most handicrafts exported, she said, adding Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany were the main importers of Iranian handicrafts with the U.S. and the UK recently resumed their imports.

PHOTO: A craftswoman meticulously brush paints a traditional fruit pot in an undated photo.

AFM/MG

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