People, Travel

Iran Among Top 3 Handicraft Producers

Iran Among Top 3 Handicraft ProducersIran Among Top 3 Handicraft Producers

Iran produces 300 out of the 460 types of handicraft products, which places the country up there with China and India as the top three producers of handicrafts

Iran’s revenue from handicraft exports, excluding hand-woven carpets, is predicted to hit $1 billion by the end of the sixth five-year economic development plan (2016-21), according to Iran’s top handicraft official.

Annually, handicrafts rake in $200 million but the figure is expected to rise significantly, thanks to the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in January, as a result of Tehran’s compliance with obligations laid out in the historic nuclear deal with the six major world powers last year.

“This has partially strengthened the presence of Iranian handicrafts in international markets (especially Europe and the US),” ISNA quoted Masoud Soltanifar, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, as saying.

Iran’s annual earnings from carpet exports amount to $300-400 million.

“Given the industry’s potential and Iran’s growing presence on the global stage thanks to the nuclear deal, we intend to achieve the targeted revenue of $2.5-3 billion from handicraft exports [including carpets] before 2021,” said Soltanifar who doubles as vice president.

“There are approximately two million people active in the field in Iran,” he added.

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

Silver accessories, ceramic products and kilims (tapestry-woven carpets) constituted the largest export items during the period, according to ICHHTO.

Iran has a long tradition of producing artisanal goods, including Persian carpets, ceramics, copperware, brassware, glass, leather goods, textiles and wooden artifacts such as Khatam made by decorating the surface of wooden articles with delicate pieces of wood, bone and metal cut into geometrical shapes.

Handicraft sales grew by 55% last year (ended March 19), compared with the previous year.

Insiders say despite the large improvement in sales, the handicraft industry still cannot afford to effectively promote Iranian craftsmanship.