Kathmandu, May 10, 2016:Â The five-day long 13th Handicraft Trade Fair and 11th Craft Competition concluded here today, making business transaction of around Rs 60 million and attracting around 250,000 visitors during the course of the event.
According to the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN), the main organiser of the fair, domestic exhibitors also managed to bag huge purchase orders from the visitors to the mega event.
Underlining the close link between the handicraft industry and tourism sector, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokhrel said the ministry is always positive about promoting Nepali handicrafts in the world market.
Handicraft products, including those made of pashmina, wool, cotton, wood, stone, paper, ceramics, bamboo, leather, among others were exhibited at the fair.
â€œIt is crucial that Nepal formulates long-term strategy and programmes for the development of handicraft industry like India and other neighbouring countries have done to boost the sector and in turn attract high-value tourists into the country,â€ the press statement issued today quoted Dharma Raj Shakya, president of FHAN, as saying during theclosing ceremony. â€œFor this, we need to develop necessary infrastructure, legal framework and organisational structure.â€
The winners of the craft competition were alsoÂ announced during the closing ceremony. Rabindra Bajracharya, Yogendra Bajracharya and Rupesh Bajracharya secured first, second and third prizes in the stone craft category. Ajin Tamrakar and Rachana Tamrakar won first prize in felt wool category, while Mithu Magar and Ramila Tamang bagged second and third prizes, respectively. The first, second and third place winners in both categories won cash prizes of Rs 50,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively, along with certificates.
According to the federation, Nepali handicrafts are highly sought after in the international market owing to theirÂ aesthetic value. Hence, Nepal could cash in on its image as the country that manufactures outstanding handicraft products to further enhance the sector.
As per FHAN, the country exported handicraft products worth Rs 2.29 billion in the first six months of the currentÂ fiscal year.
The fair had six pavilions and 177 stalls this year and handicraft producers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan had also participated in the fair.