Indian handicrafts exports to Oman touch $13.42 mn

September 1st, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 1 (IANS) The value of exports of Indian handicraft items to Oman touched $13.42 million in 2007-08, up from $7.03 million in 2002-03, according to India’s Textiles Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela.Speaking at a seminar on ‘Brand Image Promotion of Indian Handicrafts’ in Muscat, the minister said there has been a substantial demand for handcrafted products like textiles, home furnishings, floor coverings and gift items from countries in the Middle East over the last couple of years, the Oman Tribune newspaper reported Monday.

The seminar was part of a campaign to promote Indian handicrafts in the Gulf launched by the textiles ministry.

He added that the display of Indian handicrafts at the Muscat Festival 2007 had been very successful and 12 Indian companies had participated in the festival under the aegis of India’s Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

Vaghela also mentioned the visit of a delegation of Omani crafts industries authorities to India last year, which explored possible areas of cooperation between the two countries and also for training in new techniques adopted by India in the handicraft industry.

He added that a proposal to bring Indian craftsmen to Oman to train Omani artisans in pottery, silk weaving, camel bone carving and cane and bamboo weaving was also under the consideration of his ministry.

Speaking on the occasion, India’s Ambassador to Oman Anil Wadhwa said the seminar was a sequel to the participation of 12 Indian handicraft exporters at the Muscat Festival last year.

“I am glad that this event… will be followed by EPCH participation on a larger scale in a week-long programme that the embassy proposes to hold in prominent cities and townships of Oman in cooperation with the Lulu Hypermarket chain, to market Indian handicrafts and handlooms,” the report quoted him as saying.

During the course of his stay in Oman, the minister visited a textile factory in Rusayl Industrial Estate.

Vaghela also had meetings with Maqbool Bin Ali Bin Sultan, Oman’s minister for commerce and industry, and Omar Bin Abdul Munim Al Zawawi, adviser to the ruler of Oman.

The Indian delegation included Rakesh Sharma, executive director of EPCH, and development commissioner for handicrafts Sanjay Agarwal.

The delegation was earlier in Dubai for the same campaign.

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