Iran’s handicraft exports hit $427m in 11 months

May 8, 2020 - 20:1

TEHRAN – – Iran exported $427 million worth of handicrafts during the first eleven months of the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19).

Of the figure, some $190 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through 20 provinces, CHTN quoted deputy tourism minister Pouya Mahmoudian as saying on Wednesday.

“Some 237 million dollars worth of handicrafts, weighing 88,239 tons, were exported officially through customs during the eleven months,” she added.

Talking about handicrafts exports in Esfand (the last month of the year), the official said: “Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, suitcase exports of handicrafts were completely stopped since the month of Esfand and official exports of handicrafts experienced a steep decline.”

Last December, Mahmoudian announced that the country aimed to strengthen bonds existing between handicrafts and tourism to foster “art tourism”, noting “We are working hard to promote art tourism in Iran and now we have hotels in Iran that are fully decorated with handicrafts.”

Talking on the significance of handicrafts in the country, she noted, “Iran globally ranks first in terms of having the topmost number of world cities [and villages] of handicrafts.”

“Some 295 fields of handicrafts are currently practiced across Iran with more than two million people engaging, majority of whom are women… Handicrafts also play an important role in the economy in our rural villages,” she said.

Iran’s handicrafts exports reached $289 million in the year 1397, showing three percent growth year on year, based on data released by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts. Traditional ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones were exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

AFM/MG

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