Indian handicrafts exports rose 8.3 per cent in the April to December period of this fiscal year from a year ago. Usually the last quarter does see a lot of handicraft exports but it’s possible that handicraft exports will rise ten per cent in 2017-18 over the current fiscal year. Even the country’s overall merchandise exports during the April to December period saw only a marginal rise of 0.75 per cent from a year earlier.
Considering exports in the overall textile and garment sector have witnessed a contraction in recent months, the performance of this segment is noteworthy. Attractive designs, quality products and aggressive promotion have been instrumental in boosting handicraft exports in recent years. Hit hard in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, India’s handicraft exports bounced back in recent years, as outbound shipments more than doubled over the last five years, exceeding the growth in the country’s overall merchandise exports.
The US and the EU account for more than a half of India’s handicraft supplies. Handicraft exports have consistently exceeded the target set each year since 2009-10. While overall merchandise exports continue to suffer in recent years due to the gloomy external environment, the handicraft segment has bucked the trend.