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Handicraft industry in Rajasthan explores domestic
market to beat recession

    Jaipur: Battered by the economic slowdown, handicraft exporters in Rajasthan now look to the domestic market to survive through the crisis, as it remained largely unaffected by the global meltdown as compared to the rest of the world. To tap the domestic market, the Federation of Rajasthan Handicraft Exporters (FRHE) organised a three-day Handicraft Fair in Birla Auditorium of Jaipur in order to provide a platform to sellers and buyers of handicraft. About 100 exhibitors showcased their world-class quality items, including blue pottery, ceramics, clay items, traditional furnishing items, textiles, jewellery and furniture artifacts on the last day of the expo today. All items which were used to be exported are now being offered in the local market to whole sellers, retailers and even individual buyers. “When we were earlier exporting, we did not pay any attention to the Jaipur or local market. This time because of the economic slowdown, we are attracted to domestic market and exploring it. We think if we tap the domestic market our handicraft will survive and it will grow,”said Pradeep Kumar Chabra, an exporter. Dilip Vaid, Chairman of FRHE, visualises the domestic market to grow big in the next five years, and expects many exporters to shift focus to domestic market from the international market. “I will not be surprised when many exporters who call themselves as exporters will be focusing on domestic markets rather than international market. The best thing about our industry even in this difficult time is that every piece sold here has got a background of livelihood generated,” said Vaid. This year the handicraft Industry in Rajasthan exported items worth Rs 200 billion, which is Rs 150 billion less compared with the last fiscal year. Exporters now feel that the domestic market has a great potential and if explored properly they can sail through the economic meltdown and maintain their profits.
-August 16, 2009

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