Gilan handicrafts export jump fivefold despite obstacles 

November 20, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN – Exports of handicrafts from the northern province of Gilan have increased fivefold despite challenges such as harsh sanctions and the outbreak of coronavirus, the deputy provincial tourism chief has announced. 

According to official statistics, Gilan province exported $1.7 million worth of handicraft products during the Iranian year 1398 (March 2019-March 2020), excluding suitcase trade (allowed for duty-free and tax-free transfers), Farzad Farshidi said on Saturday. 

During 1399 (March 2020-March 2021), Gilan’s export of handicrafts reached $9.5 million, representing a fivefold increase in the export of handicrafts, the official added. 

Efforts were made by the province’s cultural heritage department last year to utilize the capacity of non-governmental organizations and other cultural stakeholders to create the infrastructure for the production and sale of handicraft products in Gilan, he noted.

The participation and identification, as well as the training and promotion of design, packaging, and commercialization processes have been going on for some time now, he explained.

Back in October, the tourism ministry announced that Iran exported $47 million worth of handicrafts in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-July 21). 

Exports in these three months totaled $47 million with an approximate weight of 20163 tons.

Most of the handicrafts were mainly exported to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Singapore.

The country also exported $530 million worth of handicrafts, weighing 112,554 tons, during the past calendar year 1399 (ended March 21). 

Of the figure, some $322 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $207 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces. 

Wooden furniture, copper utensils, and glassware were among the main handicrafts exported to Iraq, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan last year.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

Iran’s ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

ABU/AFM 

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