Handicraft fair a resounding success

KATHMANDU: The five-day 8th Handicraft Trade Fair and 6th Craft Competition ended on Sunday with business transaction worth Rs 50 million.

World Craft Council for Asia Pacific Region vice-chairman and former president of Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN) Pushkar Man Shakya, expressing delight at the success of the fair, said that they are satisfied with the business they attracted and the number of quality visits rather than quantity of visitors.

According to Shakya, the fair had targeted business worth Rs 40 million but it achieved more than that along with local market participation too. The fair also got mileage at the international level. It was held at a cost of Rs 4.4 million. Talking about the government concern in trade fairs, Shakya urged for the government’s more effective participation by allocating budget for trade fair expenses so that trade fairs can be conducted every year.

“To promote local level trade fairs, the government should lift visa restrictions for international business persons willing to visit trade fairs here,” he said. He added that the existing exhibition hall at Bhrikuti Mandap should be of international standards as it is the most happening spot and needs proper infrastructure. The present exhibition hall covers an area of 32,000 square feet.

“The exhibition hall lacks a number of facilities. It does not have enough space for all-purpose fairs, proper electricity, security, cleanliness, good interior, parking space and more,” Shakya said adding that if the government allows the private sector it can develop it to international standards.

With Rs 7 billion worth of transaction annually, the handicraft sector alone has a contribution of 8.71 per cent employment. According to FHAN, 42 different handicraft products are exported to 80 countries.

To create more demand at the domestic level, promote Nepali Handicrafts and create direct interaction between buyers and sellers, FHAN organised the five-day 8th Handicraft Trade Fair and 6th Handicraft competition. It was promoted by World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region, FedEx, Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Federation of Women Entrepreneurs of Nepal, NATTA, PATA, TURGAN, REBAN and HAN.