People, Travel

Handicraft Marketing Poor

Handicraft Marketing PoorHandicraft Marketing Poor

Despite a large improvement in sales during the last fiscal year (ended March 19), the handicraft industry still cannot afford to effectively promote Iranian craftsmanship.

Speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a carpet and handicraft exhibition in Tehran on Monday, Bahman Namvar Motlaq, deputy for handicrafts at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said, “The organization doesn’t have the financial means to promote Iran-made handicraft the way it should. Countries far and wide do not miss any opportunity to market their products.”

Handicraft sales grew by 55% last year, compared to the year before, IRNA reported.

Once the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the six major world powers came into effect in January, Europeans wasted little time in exploring the emerging Iranian market to sell their products, “but we were hardly cognizant of the fact that lifting of the sanctions also allows us to export our handicrafts.”

Motlaq said his office has asked the ICHHTO, whose head Masoud Soltanifar is a vice president, to include a handicraft expert from the organization in President Hassan Rouhani’s delegation on his official trips abroad to help promote the craft.

According to official reports, during the two-week Norouz holiday (March 20-April 1), handicraft bazaars across the country generated 240 billion rials ($6.9 million) in sales, nearly twice as much as the corresponding period in the previous year.

The government allocated 2 trillion rials ($56 million) in loans to the handicraft sector during the last fiscal year that ended on March 19 at low interest rates.

At least 10 trillion rials ($289 million) are needed to jumpstart the handicraft industry, according the ICHHTO, while the country’s declared goal is to earn a billion dollars from handicraft export. In the last fiscal year the sector generated $150 million.