SRINAGAR, Aug 6:Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today said that top international firms will only visit Kashmir for buying handicraft products if we make concerted efforts to maintain the quality, enhance the volume of production and give the artisans, who possess the rare art of making some of the finest hand-made products in the world, a level-playing field.
He said the Government will extend support to the Mega International Buyer-Seller Meet, being organized to promote handicraft products in November, later this year.The Chief Minister was speaking to a delegation of Associated Chamber of Commerce & Industry Kashmir (CCIK), here this morning.
The Chamber is planning to organize a three-day Mega International Buyer-Seller Meet in which reputed business firms from all over the world will visit Srinagar for an exhibition of famed Kashmir arts on carpets, shawls, paper machie, wooden pieces and crewel embroidery.
Describing artisan as a cog-in-the-wheel of Kashmir Handicraft, Mufti Sayeed said any international buyer-seller meet should also highlight their rare craft of making such exquisite products. “These meets should not only prove beneficial to exporters but artisans as well, who remain the industry’s main stakeholders,” he said while emphasizing upon CCIK to promote and protect interests of the artisan community.
Crediting the artisans for sustaining the state’s wavering economy when it confronted its most turbulent phase, the Chief Minister said the handicraft sector will continue to remain a thrust area for the Government, given the huge potential it has in national and international markets. “Their nimble hands have woven the best of shawls and carpets from within the confines of their homes when the Valley fell on hard times,” he said.
The Chief Minister observed that CCIK should tie up with Government institutions like Craft Development Institute (CDI) and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology so that they work in tandem and help in improving further the skills of our craftsmen and introducing new concept and designs in our products to enhance their saleability.
Briefing the Chief Minister about the activities of CCIK, President, Zahoor Tramboo said the Chamber will talk to several embassies and international trade bodies for making the event a huge success. “Besides introducing new innovations, our focus will also be to tap the available market of Central Asian countries where our products can sell like hot cakes,” he said, while urging the Government to facilitate the efforts of CCIK in organizing the event.
The delegation assured the Chief Minister that they will take necessary steps to make the handicraft industry remunerative for our artisans so that they continue to unravel the products, for which people crave all over the world.Secretary General, CCIK, Tariq Rashid Ghani and Members, Rauf Tramboo, Jameel Naqash, Ghulam Mohammad Khan and A. M. Chakoo were also present on the occasion.