Annual handicraft exports bring $1.1 million to Gulistan

TEHRAN – Handicrafts worth around $1.1 million were exported from the northern province of Golestan in the previous Iranian calendar year 1400 (ending March 21), CHTN reported on Saturday.

Products include kilims, rugs, jajim (a kind of hand-woven carpet), traditional textiles, traditional embroidery, pottery and woodwork, the report adds.

During the mentioned period, the national seal of excellence was also awarded to 25 works made by hand by indigenous artisans.

Some 184 billion rials ($614,000) were also disbursed to artisans across the province in the form of loans to develop and support the handicrafts sector during the mentioned period.

Gulistan is said to include some 2,500 historical and natural sites, including Gonbad-e Qabus, a millennium-old brick tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among the most famous. Accounts say the tower influenced various later designers of burial towers and other cylindrical memorial structures both in the region and beyond. UNESCO comments that the tower bears witness to the cultural exchange between the nomads of Central Asia and the ancient civilization of Iran.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first in the world for the number of cities and towns registered by the World Crafts Council, followed by China with seven entries, Chile with four and India with three. For example, Shiraz is called the “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”, Malayer is a global hub for woodcarving and carved wooden furniture, while Zanjan has earned the title of “world filigree city”.

Also, the ancient city of Shiraz has been chosen to host the 39th General Assembly of the World Crafts Council – Asia-Pacific Region (WCC-APR) in May 2023. Shiraz has a remarkable number of craft pioneers . With an average age of 70, some of these pioneers are still active in their workshops. The professional records of about 100 pioneers are collected and honored each year by the keepers of the WCC General Office.

Available data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts suggests that the value of Iranian handicraft exports amounted to $120 million during the first eleven months of the last Iranian calendar year 1399 ( March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicraft exports fell in the mentioned months compared to the same period a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.

The Islamic Republic exported $427 million worth of handicrafts in the first eleven months of the calendar year 1398. Of this, some $190 million was earned through the suitcase trade (permitted for duty-free transfer customs and tax) across 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. Ceramics, pottery vessels, hand-woven fabrics as well as personal ornaments with precious and semi-precious stones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, United States, Kingdom United and other countries.

ABU/MG

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