Kathmandu: The 15th Handicraft Trade Fair and the 13th Craft Competition began at Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Centre, Kathmandu Friday.
The Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN) is organising the five-day exhibition to encourage the entrepreneurs’ participation in this sector and enhance trade of handicrafts in home and abroad.
The major objective of the fair is to encourage small enterprises to produce handicrafts and other Nepali products in large amount, explore international market and boost commercial relations between the domestic exporters and foreign importers.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the fair amidst a function.
In her inaugural address, President Bhandari stressed the need for promoting the sector by attracting new generation entrepreneurs to the sector as it would not only support for the economic development in the country but also contribute to recognise Nepal in the international arena.
“Handicraft is a product that reflects the country’s traditional activities along with promoting the skills and creativity of the artists in the international level. So, the efforts from the government and the private sector is a must to develop the sector by according due priority to it,” the President said.
“It is necessary to enhance the entrepreneurship even among the rural people who are involving in the handicrafts industry so that production increases in the country,” she said.
Senior vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce Industry Shekhar Golchha stressed the need for increasing productivity keeping the quality in the centre to increase the export trade of the country.
“A huge production with quality is a must to promote export trade in the competitive international market. We have to focus on products and market diversification equally to increase production and export as well,” he said.
FHAN President Dharma Raj Shakya said that the government should promote the sector keeping in top as it has been contributing to reduce poverty and creating self-employment opportunities to a large numbers of people.
Shakya urged the government to increase cash incentive to the exporters to enhance the competitiveness of Nepali products as the cost of the production is high in Nepal.
Stating that handicrafts worth above Rs. 10 billion are being exported through formal and informal channels and equal amount of handicrafts are consumed in domestic market yearly, he said that more than 1,300,000 people are getting jobs directly and indirectly in this sector.
The fair has showcased 200 stalls in which entrepreneurs from 25 districts across the country are displaying their products.
On the occasion, the FHAN facilitated the companies and individual who contributed to increase the export of handicrafts the last fiscal year.