The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts on Tuesday said that the 10-day Festival of India organised by it in Argentina to showcase Indian handicrafts has generated business and serious enquiries worth over Rs. 105 crore.

EPCH Executive Director, Rakesh Kumar, said looking at the trend at the festival, a complete turn around in handicrafts export from India could be expected by April next.

Handicrafts export had been the worst affected by the global economic slow down, The exports had fallen by as much as 14 per cent in 2008-09 after registering an average annual growth of about 17 per cent between 2000-01 and 2007-2008.

The festival was organised as part of an exercise to tap newer markets for Indian handicrafts. Traditionally, the main market had been US followed by the European Union, and the middle- east.

The US topped the list, accounting for 38 per cent of the exports from India. Germany came second with a share of 14 per cent and United Kingdom the third with 10 per cent.

Argentina has been increasingly becoming an important market, with an average growth rate of 12 per cent per annum in recent years. The exports to the Latin American country were US dollars 4.8 million during 2005-06. It increased to US dollars 4.96 million in 2007-08. Last year, it dropped to US dollars 3.13 million following the world-wide economic melt down.

About 35 Indian companies had participated in the Festival of India showcasing a range of products including Christmas decoration, costume jewellery and accessories, incense sticks, home decoration and giftware, furniture and fixtures and textiles.

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