Economy, Business And Markets

US Delegation to Pursue Carpet Imports in 2016

US Delegation to Pursue Carpet Imports in 2016US Delegation to Pursue Carpet Imports in 2016

An American trade delegation is set to visit Tehran in late January or February 2016 to discuss purchase of Persian hand-woven carpets, says the head of Iranian National Carpet Center, Hamid Kargar.

“The delegation will include traders, carpet researchers, writers and journalists. The visit will be the beginning of a new chapter in Iran’s hand-woven carpet industry,” Mehr News Agency quoted Kargar as saying.

He pointed to the opportunity at hand to reenter the American market and said: “More than 5,000 tons of hand-woven carpets worth $330 million were exported last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015), indicating a 2.7% increase in terms of value compared to a year before.

“The increase is a welcome sign, however we expect exports to rise much higher to $500 million a year once we reenter the American market.”

Before imposing direct sanctions on import of Iranian hand-woven carpet in late 2010, the US was the primary destination for Iranian exports with more than $82 million worth of imports every year accounting for 16.5% of Iran’s total annual carpet exports.

Carpet traders are eying a return to the American market, where the demand for this product is still high.

Apart from US sanctions, high inflation, hike in raw material prices and transportation costs, saturation of traditional carpet markets and a shift in customers taste are other issues hampering the export of Persian hand-woven carpet in recent years.

The landmark July 14 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers—the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany—is meant to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting of sanctions imposed by the US, EU and the UN Security Council. As part of the deal, the US will resume imports of Iranian carpets

The American trade delegation is scheduled to be taken on a tour of carpet production facilities for first-hand experience of how a Persian carpet is produced. They are also scheduled to visit Tehran’s Grand Carpet Bazaar and Tehran’s Carpet Museum.

  Int’l Hand-Woven Carpet Exhibition

Kargar also announced that the 24th International Hand-Woven Carpet Exhibition will be held in Tehran on August 23-29.

Hailing it as the “greatest international hand-woven carpet event”, he said the event is a significant opportunity to revive the Persian hand-woven carpet industry and exports.

“About 700 hand-woven carpet producers and exporters from China, Japan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Kuwait, Sweden, Greece, Germany, Russia, South Africa, the United States and Uruguay will attend this exhibition,” he noted.

The official added that Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Japan and China are currently primary clients of Iranian carpet.