People, Travel

$330m Needed to Promote Handicrafts

$330m Needed to Promote Handicrafts$330m Needed to Promote Handicrafts

At least 10 trillion rials ($330 million) are needed to jumpstart the sluggish handicrafts industry, said a senior official of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Speaking to IRNA during his visit to a handicraft workshop in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, ICHHTO’s deputy for handicrafts, Bahman Namvar Motlaq, said Iranian crafts were once among the best in the world, but now they have fallen behind in the competition.

The official said the sector has a large capacity for growth but is not thriving and called on Iranians to commit themselves to help the industry reach its rightful place.

Motlaq said Iran’s oil-dependent economy has stripped handicrafts of its economic potential and stressed that the situation must be remedied.

He said public awareness can be raised by conducting dialogue, education and training workshops, as well as proper marketing campaigns.

The ICHHTO official said years of mismanagement took a toll on demand for Iranian crafts on both national and international levels.

“Over the past two years, we tried to prevent the further decline of handicrafts, and we had some success,” he said.

Motlaq said the government’s efforts to revive the industry have resulted in a 40% increase in exports, increasing employment in the sector by 20%, adding that the sixth economic development plan (2016-21) outlines measures to develop the ailing industry.

“The figures show we have managed to put an end to the industry’s declining trend, but more work needs to be done to reclaim our place in the global market,” Motlaq said.