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Tehran Handicraft Exports Hit $23m

Tehran Handicraft Exports Hit $23mTehran Handicraft Exports Hit $23m

Tehran Province has exported $23 million worth of handcrafted products in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016), according to a senior official.

“We aim to increase that figure by 10-15% this year,” Shahram Merikhi, handicrafts deputy at the provincial office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, also told IRNA.

The top importers of Tehran’s handicrafts last year were Azerbaijan, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Austria, Germany, Spain and South Africa.

“Silver accessories, clay and ceramic products and kilims (tapestry-woven carpets) constituted the largest export items,” he added.

Once a major source of revenue, the handicrafts sector suffered a setback following the imposition of international economic sanctions on Tehran, most of which were lifted in January thanks to Iran’s compliance with its obligations laid out in the historic nuclear deal signed last year.

Nevertheless, the sector started to resurge in 2013 when President Hassan Rouhani took office.

The government allocated 2 trillion rials ($56 million) to the handicraft sector in the last fiscal year as low-interest loans to artisans.

At least 10 trillion rials ($280 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, Iran earned $150 million from handicrafts.