The Indian handicrafts sector has seen an increase in exports of approximately 42% in February 2011. The sector is increasingly supplying major American and European buyers who “are shifting their focus from China,” according to Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts. Namrata Kath Hazarika | 22 Mar, 2011
The exports of Indian handicrafts have witnessed a surge of 41.83 percent in February, as demand flow has increased positively in the current financial year and the major overseas buyers especially from the key exports markets (the US and Europe) are shifting their focus from China, said Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

He said, “There is a good sign of growth in the handicraft sector as the demand flow is increasing and our exports is growing positively at present.”

The exports have shown an increase of USD 29.12 millions to USD 98.73 millions in February over the similar period in 2010.

In fact, since April 2010, there has been a growth by 15-20 percent which is good for the handicraft sector, Malhotra said.

The US and EU together account for 70% of the country’s handicrafts exports and it employs about 10 lakh people.

According to the latest data available, the exports from April-December 2010-11 have shown the increase of USD 362.09 millions to USD 1688.42 millions i.e. the exports increased by 27.30 % over the similar period in 2009- 2010.

Dwelling views on the Chinese markets he said that although China is grappling with high inflation and ascending labour costs, the buyers are looking out for the Indian market to some extent.

“The wages are increasing in China and even the Chinese currency (Yuan) is also appreciating and that is why the demand has started coming to India in quantum,” Malhotra added.

India can become major sourcing destination for overseas buyers in the coming years and has a big opportunity to takeover China in the long run, he added.