Export of Nepali handicrafts fall by 3 percent

- Post Report, Kathmandu

According to the export data released by the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN), the export of Nepali handicraft products has decreased by three percent in the last fiscal year 2017-18 in comparison to fiscal year 2016-17. The country exported Rs5.21 billion worth of handicraft products in the last fiscal year in comparison to previous fiscal year’s Rs5.39 billion.

According to Dharma Raj Shakya, president of FHAN, a lack of government support for the production of handicrafts and a lack of promotion of the handicraft industry are the main reasons behind this fall in export numbers.
Handicraft traders also complained that they are still facing problems in receiving the cash incentives being provided by the government to handicraft exporters. The government, in fiscal year 2018-19, declared that they would raise the export incentive to five percent from two percent; however, the implementation of these policies have not taken place yet, said Shakya.

Similarly, a limited production of handicraft products—a direct result of a shortage of labour—is also another reason behind the diminishing export rate of handicrafts, said handicrafts traders. Another reason behind the decline in export is competition among the country’s neighbours. India and China produce handicraft products at a much larger scale for the international market, which means the prices are comparatively lower than Nepal’s handicraft goods. Consumers automatically prefer these products to our more-expensive goods.

Shakya, however, said that the government of India and China are supportive of Nepal’s handicraft production and export, as exporters are getting 15 percent and 22 percent incentives respectively in the export.

Similarly, the export of textile handicraft products (such as pashmina, wool, cotton and allo) has decreased by one percent: Nepal exported textile handicrafts worth Rs2.47 billion in the last fiscal in comparison to previous fiscal year’s Rs2.48 billion.

Nepal exported pashmina worth Rs216.9 million in the previous fiscal year, while the amount decreased by 15 percent to Rs185.1 million in the last fiscal year.  

Meanwhile, the export of non-textile handicraft products has decreased by six percent. Nepal exported handicraft products of Rs2.74 billion in the last fiscal year, while it exported Rs2.90 billion worth of goods in the previous fiscal year.  The export of non-textile products such as silver jewellery, handmade papers, wood crafts, glass products, leather goods, incense, thanka paintings, ceramic products, beads items, bamboo products and stone crafts has decreased in the last fiscal year in comparison to the previous fiscal year.

The export of handmade papers has also decreased by eight percent, amounting to Rs393.9 million in the last fiscal year as compared to the previous fiscal year’s Rs428.902 million.

Published: 2018-09-09 08:40:23