Facing Rs 500 cr slump, Kashmir traders' body pins hopes on buyers from 21 countries
Grappling with Rs 500 crore dip in handicrafts and carpet industry in the wake of devastating floods, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has invited prospective buyers from 21 countries to put the industry back on the tracks.
"Around 70 potential buyers from 21 countries including the US, UAE, Malaysia, Turkey, Tunisia and Indonesia will take part in the buyer -seller meet. After floods, our economy is still in revival mode," said KCCI president Sheikh Ashiq.
The '6th International Buyer Seller Meet' comes just nine months after the floods wreaked havoc on the housing and business sector in the Valley.
According to the KCCI figures, the carpet and handicrafts sector's business was pegged at `2,000 crore against `1,700 crore business target made previous year.
"However, we see `500 crore dip and the business has come down below `1200 crore," said Ashiq.
The buyer-seller meet, starting from May 30, is aimed at buttressing the sapping market of Kashmir handicrafts in the international markets.
To be inaugurated by chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the meet will be held at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) till June 1.
The KCCI president said the theme of meet will be 'Celebrating our resilience through Handicrafts'.
The KCCI aims to attract at least 200 potential buyers from the international markets in the next five years.
The KCCI plans to provide a peep to the prospective buyers into the making of the Kashmir crafts.
"There will also be live demonstrations of artisans weaving carpets and shawls at the meet," said KCCI joint secretary general Faiz Bakshi.
At least `100 worth craft material was damaged during the floods in September last year, mainly carpets, shawls, paper machie and wood carving.
It tremendously impacted the export potential of the sellers in the Valley.