Notwithstanding slowdown in the traditional exports markets of the U.S. and Europe, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), on Wednesday, said India's handicrafts exports had registered a jump of around 17.5 per cent year-on-year to $ 2.7 billion in 2011-12 from $2.3 billion in 2010-11. The growth was mainly driven by growing demand in new markets such as China and Latin America. “There was an increase in demand from markets such as China, the Middle East and Latin America,” EPCH Executive Director Rakesh Kumar told newsmen here.

However, he said the demand continued to remain weak in the U.S. and European markets which were witnessing sluggish economic growth. The U.S. and Europe together account for over 60 per cent of the country's total handicrafts exports.

Among items that registered the maximum growth in exports were: imitation jewellery 52 per cent followed by wood ware (46 per cent), shawls as art ware (33 per cent) and miscellaneous items (30 per cent).

Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicrafts hubs catering to world markets, employing one million people.

Keywords: handicraftsSMI

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