As the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts’ (EPCH) diversification strategy yielded positive results in the Latin American markets, India’s nodal agency for handicraft export promotion is now eyeing to cash in from the rising demand for Indian handicrafts in China.
China is internationally recognized as a handicraft producing nation, which has extended tough competition to Indian handicraft sector till recently. But now, owing to extensive mechanization, most of the Chinese goods are prepared with machines, and only finishing is done manually. This, eventually, has resulted in a rise in demand for Indian handicrafts, Mr. Arvind Vadhera, Chairman, EPCH said.
Indian handicrafts feature exclusivity in artisanship, finish and presentation, and thus, exports of these products to China have been rising over the past few years, he added.
During 2010-11, India’s handicrafts exports to China were valued at Rs. 9.457 billion. Scarves and hand printed textiles were among the list of major handicraft products that were exported from India to China.
China represents a 30 percent share in global handicraft trade, Mr. Vadhera said, and added that the international fairs organized by EPCH were regularly being attended by Chinese buyers.
Till now, EPCH was focusing only on the US and EU markets, which are presently facing financial crisis, and hence the Council is now shifting its focus to new markets, he said.
EPCH is seeking service tax waiver for trade expositions organized within the country. In its pre-budget recommendations, the Council has also suggested continuation of interest subsidy of two percent even after March 31 and cut of customs duty from 30 percent to zero percent, he informed.
During the initial 10 months of the current fiscal, India exported handicraft items worth Rs. 89.921 billion, 23.44 percent more than Rs. 72.844 billion worth of exports made during the corresponding period of previous year.