NEW DELHI: The Textiles Ministry has asked handicrafts exporters to nearly double their overseas sales target to Rs 33,000 crore in the next three years.
Last fiscal, these exports stood at Rs 17,000 crore. "We must increase handicrafts exportsfrom Rs 17,000 crore to Rs 33,000 crore in the next three years," Textiles Minister K Sambasiva Rao has said at an Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) award function here.
The major markets for the country's handicrafts exports are the US and Europe.
However, due to sluggish demand in these markets the exporters are exploring emerging markets like Latin America, China and Africa.
"The exporters are also focusing on emerging markets like Latin America as there is a good demand for handicrafts items," Rao said.
For this, the EPCH has been demanding setting up of a warehouse in Latin America to maintain an inventory of Indian handicrafts there.
The Minister assured the exporters of all his assistance to open the warehouse for handicraft products in the region by this year itself.
"The exporters want the government to help in setting up warehouse in Latin America and a showroom. No individual exporter will be able to set up this and initially it is the duty of the government to come to the rescue of exporters and do it," Rao said.
This will help in boosting the exports to the region, he said.
The handicraft sector employs one million people. Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur and Jodhpur are the major handicraft hubs in the country catering to global markets.