Suitcase trade exports of handicrafts fetches Iran $99m in year

June 15, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran earned some $99 million from exporting handicrafts via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) during the past Iranian calendar year 1397 (ended March 20), the deputy director of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said on Monday, CHTN reported.

In addition, the country’s handicrafts exports through customs reached $289 million in the year 1397, showing three percent growth year on year, Pouya Mahmoudian said.

Iraq is the leading importer of Iranian handicrafts and it also re-exports some of them to some countries, such a trend is also underway in the UAE, the official stated.

The United States is one of the destinations for suitcase trade exports of handicrafts, in particular traditional jewelry, personal-ornamentation, and handmade textile, she said.

Traditional ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths, precious and semi-precious gemstones, glasswork and woodwork are amongst Iranian handicraft exports to Germany, Armenia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, the Netherlands, France, Italy, South Africa and the Persian Gulf littoral states to name a few.

Dozens of Iranian handicrafts have gained the UNESCO Seal of Excellence during the past couple of years.

According to official data compiled by the CHHTO, a total of 7.8 million foreign nationals visited the Islamic Republic during 1397 that shows a 52.5 percent increase year on year. Outbound passengers added up to 7 million during the same year.

AFM/MQ/MG

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