Saarc Handicrafts Expo slated to start Thursday

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Saarc Handicrafts Expo slated to start Thursday

Nov 18, 2014-

The Saarc Handicrafts Expo, slated to start on Thursday on the sidelines of the Saarc Summit, has raised the hopes of domestic handicraft traders. They expect the fair will lead to higher sales and increased orders from South Asian countries as it coincides with the regional conference.

Direct contact with potential buyers during the expo is expected to result in greater import orders from South Asian countries. Handicraft producers have been preparing to display their new products during the expo.

The Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan), the organiser of the fair, aims to develop the event as a Handicrafts Business Hub for the Saarc region.

The expo will host 210 stalls showcasing pashmina and woollen goods, silver jewellery, metal statue and craft, handmade paper products, cotton and natural fibre products, woodcraft, stone craft, ceramics, paubha and thanka painting, bone and horn products, leather items, beads and bamboo products. There will be a separate pavilion containing 40 stalls for other South Asian countries. Saarc countries have been organising the trade fair annually, and Nepal is hosting this year’s event.

“We expect 20-25 percent more sales this year compared to last year,” said Hem Ratna Shakya, president of Fhan. Last year, the event recorded a turnover of Rs 80 million and 250,000 visitors.

Fhan expects footfall to reach 300,000 and a turnover of Rs 100 million during the five-day expo. Shakya said that the event would be a platform for promoting domestic handicraft in South Asian markets.

A silver jewellery fashion show, art and craft competition and workshop on designing handicrafts and business expansion will also be held during the expo.

“We will be hosting various seminars and workshops with international business delegates, so the expo will also be a platform to learn how to make competitive products with the best designs,” added Shakya.

“We are going to showcase a wide variety of handicraft products targeting Saarc countries,” said Rohini Rana, a handicraft manufacturer and trader. “So I expect a higher turnover compared to last year.”

Around 1.1 million people are directly or indirectly involved in the Nepali handicrafts industry which is estimated to be worth Rs 20 billion, said Fhan.

The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, Ministry of Industry and Saarc Cultural Centre Sri Lanka are the co-organisers of the event.

Published: 19-11-2014 09:33

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