The story of Indian handicrafts dates back to one of the oldest civilizations of the world. Representing beauty, dignity, form and style, handicrafts from India are objets d’art. The sheer versatility of the various materials used to create handcrafted gift items make them truly unique. Materials range from wood, stone, metal, grass, papier mache and glass, to cane bamboo, textiles, clay, terracotta and ceramic - everything goes into the creation of a masterpiece.
Today, handicrafts and handcrafted gift items manufactured and exported from India are much sought after and have established an unsurpassable reputation in the international market.
In 2012–13, Indian handicrafts exports stood at US$ 3.3 billion, registering a growth of approximately 22 per cent over the previous year. Exports of Indian handicrafts have grown at a rate of around 7 per cent since 2001–02.
Key Markets and Export Destinations
Today, owing to the increase in the manufacture and export of handicrafts, Indian handicrafts have reached every part of the world. Some of the major export destinations for Indian handicrafts include the following:
- Indian handicrafts are exported across geographies with the top 10 markets being the US, the UK, the UAE, Germany, France, LAC, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia
- The UAE was the third-largest importer of Indian handicrafts with imports worth US$ 294.7 million in 2012–13
- Indian handicraft exports to LAC, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia garnered export shares of 3.61 per cent, 2.97 per cent, 2.29 per cent and 1.70 per cent, respectively, in 2012-13. The products exported included art metalware, woodware, hand printed textiles and scarves, embroidered and crocheted goods, shawls, zari and zari goods, imitation jewellery and miscellaneous handicrafts such as lace, toys, etc.
- The US alone accounted for approximately 26 per cent of total handicrafts exports in 2012–13. It was followed by EU countries (such as the UK, Germany, France and Italy) that accounted for approximately 25 per cent
- While the UK led the EU countries with exports worth US$ 315.7 million (9.57 per cent), Germany followed it with exports worth US$ 258.2 million (7.82 per cent). France and Italy accounted for exports worth US$ 140.3 million (4.25 per cent) and US$ 110.3 million (3.34 per cent), respectively
Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts
The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) is the apex body of the Government of India and works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. EPCH has the distinction of being considered a 'model council', a self-sustaining body that self-finances all promotional activities.
"EPCH House", Pocket - 6&7
Sector - 'C', L.S.C
New Delhi - 110 070
Fax: +91-11-26135518/ 19
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