Indian handicrafts exports grew 24% in January 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011, Newspolitan reports. Exports in January this year have been recorded at $178m, up from $143m last year. Rising demand for Indian handicrafts in the USA has been cited as the major reason.
Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts' (EPCH) Executive Director Rakesh Kumar spoke thus about this increase: ‘We are getting good response from the US markets, besides new markets like Latin America and Africa.’ Kumar stated that demand is sluggish in the European markets. USA and the European Union account of 70% of India’s handicraft exports, together.
In the current fiscal, EPCH is hopeful of achieving exports of $2.7bn. ‘We have done well in the past few months. We expect to achieve the target as exports orders are usually more in the last three months of the fiscal,’ Kumar was quoted as saying.
The handicrafts sector in India provides employs one million people, most of them working for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).