EghtesadOnline: More than $150 million worth of hand-woven carpets were exported from Iran during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22), registering a 13% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year, the head of Iran’s National Carpet Center said.
“We are looking to add new markets, including China, South Africa as well as Chile and Brazil in South America, to the existing ones. The Chinese market is very significant for us in that the country was itself one of our biggest rivals and now is among our top 20 customers of the product,” Hamid Kargar was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
"Last year, exports amounted to $359 million. With about $90 million worth of purchases, the US was the main importer of Persian carpets over the period. Persian hand-woven carpets are exported to 80 countries," he added.
Kargar explained that exports to the US have been gaining momentum after five to six years of “zero” exports to the country, due to the ban imposed on the import of Iranian carpets in September 2010, according to Financial Tribune.
International nuclear-related sanctions against trade with Iran were lifted in January 2016, as part of a landmark nuclear deal the country signed with world powers the year before. In exchange, Iran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear program.
According to Kargar, direct exports from Iran to the US resumed in February 2016.
“Iran is the biggest exporter of hand-woven carpet with a 30% share in global markets,” Kargar told Financial Tribune at the 26th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition held in Tehran’s International Permanent Fairgrounds in late August.