Innovative cultural industries can contribute to economic prosperity: official

August 5, 2020 - 19:14

TEHRAN – Innovative industries in the field of cultural heritage, mainly handicrafts and music, can contribute to economic prosperity provided that their capacities are appropriately used through proper planning, deputy tourism minister Pouya Mahmoudian has said.

Culture and art are definitely economic in nature and it is needed to take advantage of them by having a special view from culture to the category of economics and vice versa, the official added, ILNA reported on Wednesday.

She also noted that for many years, in many developed and developing countries, the discussion of cultural and creative industries has been in the center of attention and policies, and now, the need for attention to these industries in the economic field in the country is felt more than ever.

However, as the country relied on the oil-dependent economy for many years, many of its policies depended on heavy industries, and it was thought that only such industries can play a role in the prosperity of the country's economy, she lamented.  

But relying on the capacities of the culture and art of this country can lead to achieving great things in the field of the country's economy, she noted.

Referring to the infinite capacity of the handicrafts sector in Iran, she mentioned that all Iranian provinces have their own unique handicrafts and traditional arts, which could be used as a hidden treasure in the cultural and economic fields.

Back in February, the official announced that Iran ranks first globally in the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council (WCC).

Iran exported $527 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19).

Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and $254 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces.

Back in May, Mahmoudian noted that due to the outbreak of coronavirus, suitcase exports of handicrafts were completely stopped since the month of Esfand (the last month of the year), and official exports of handicrafts experienced a steep decline.

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 clothes 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.


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