Handicraft exports surge

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 26:

At a time when major exports are suffering, handicraft exports witnessed a notable growth by 10 per cent during the first 10 months of current fiscal year.

Beset by global economic downturn and ongoing insurgency, the export-based industries primarily faced a huge setback. Despite such a difficult time, the exports of some of the major handicraft items posted growth during the period.

According to Handicraft Association of Nepal (HAN), the export value of handicraft products from Shrawan to the end of Baisakh stood at Rs 2.29 billion, which is up by 10 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year. The exports value last year was over Rs 2.09 billion. The surge recorded in exports of handicrafts is mainly due to bounce back in foreign trade of Pashmina, woollen goods, silver jewellery and metal crafts among others.

The HAN figures show that the exports of Pashmina, which is the third largest export item, posted a growth of five per cent. Pashmina worth Rs 592.39 million was exported during the period against last year’s exports of Rs 565.36 million.

The exports of woollen goods recorded a surge by 22 per cent to over Rs 436.67 million, while the figure for the same period last year stood at Rs 356.80 million. Likewise, the exports of silver jewellery has also increased by six per cent to Rs 319.65 million till mid-April 2005, up from Rs 300.43 last year.

The exports of metal craft also registered a growth. It posted a rise by 26 per cent to

Rs 276.63 million during the period. The metal craft worth Rs 219.19 million were exported during the same period last fiscal year.

However, the exports of handmade paper products and cotton goods declined during the period. According to figures, the handmade paper exports dropped by two per cent, while the exports of cotton goods decreased by 16 per cent.

The handmade paper products worth Rs 216.78 million were exported during the period, while the figure was Rs 220.78 million last year. The cotton goods worth Rs 99.57 million were exported last year, while it dropped to Rs 83.39 million this year. The US, Germany and Japan are top three importers of the Nepali handicrafts, according to the country-wise export analysis.

USA imported various handicraft goods worth Rs 488.66 million during the period, while Germany imported Rs 234.56 million worth goods only. Japan is in the third position with total imports worth Rs 219.02 million till mid-April 2005.