The Union Minister of Textiles Dr. K Sambasiva Rao has assured the handicraft exporters for all his government's assistance to open a warehouse for handicraft products in Latin America in this year itself.
"From the government's side I have assured them (handicraft exporters) to open a warehouse in Latin America, what ever it costs will be provided in this year itself not next year," the minister said while addressing the Indian Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Fair in Greater Noida recently.
In order to increase handicraft exports from the country other than the traditional market of US and EU, the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) was demanding for warehouse in Latin America to maintain an inventory of Indian handicrafts there. The facility would help exporters improve their reach to 24 Latin American countries.
While giving the details about the same, on the sidelines of the event, Rao told SME Times, "The handicrafts people have given such a good hope that they wanted to create new market for their products. At the moment most of the market is dependent on US and EU."
"Now Latin American countries have got large potential to purchase. There is a demand also for Indian handicrafts, but unfortunately if they have to place an order it takes six months for our people to get it made by our artisans and then process through the customs and etc. All those problems can be solved in case if we open a warehouse showroom in one of the countries in Latin America."
"They came to me with the proposal, they said it requires about more than Rs. 100 crore to open a warehouse in Latin America. Where they can readily cater their all day orders, which are given by various countries. I thought it is fit," said Rao.
"I have asked them how much they will increase our exports, they said in two years from now they will double this exports of handicrafts to Latin American countries in case this provision is made," he added.
Handicraft exports are expected to grow by about 50 percent to USD 5 billion in current fiscal on account of growing demand in emerging markets like China, Latin America and Africa.
When our correspondent asked about the details of his recent meeting with the Prime Minister, Rao said, "When is spoke to Hon'ble Prime Minister about all these details, he gave very encouragement. And then he also told my colleague ministers that textile ministry will do wonder and it will increase exports also along with providing employment."
"I have seen the handicrafts exports have gone up substantially," the textile minister added.
Expressing his gratitude for the textile minister's support, the Chairman EPCH, Lekhraj Maheshwari told SME times, "The export to Latin America can increase ten times in next three years through this warehousing concept."
"During April-June 2013, handcrafted items grew about 12.49 percent to USD 665.24 million compared to the same period last fiscal. In the first quarter of FY'14 the handicraft exports have shown the increase of USD 73.88 millions over the similar period in 2012-2013," he added.