EghtesadOnline: Iran is looking to finalize a plan based on which identification documents will be issued for hand-woven Persian carpets by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2021), the head of Iran National Carper Center said.
“The IDs will not only contain information on the physical features of rugs, but also their weaver[s] and patterns,” Farahnaz Rafe’ was also quoted as saying by Mizan Online.
The patterns weaved on most Iranian rugs usually narrate a folkloric tale, a historic event or illustrate poems by well-known Persian poets.
Rafe’ noted that the project will begin with the most exquisite and luxurious woven carpets.
“This project will help preserve the rights of weavers and can financially improve their lives. It is also aimed at rating weavers based on the quality of their work, which is a kind of encouragement for them to improve their skills,” she said.
The official added that Iran National Carper Center is willing to use the creative ideas of startups and accelerators in this respect.
Drastic Drop in Exports
A total of $50 million worth of hand-woven carpets were exported from Iran last year (March 2019-20), registering a 90% decline compared with the previous year.
In fact, last year was the worst in decades for Iranian carpet industry, according to the CEO of the National Association for Handmade Carpet Producer’s Cooperatives.
“This decline in exports has many reasons, the main ones being US sanctions as well as the Central Bank of Iran’s requisite for traders to repatriate the foreign currency gained from exports, which significantly increases the risk of trade and discourages exporters,” Abdollah Bahrami was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The official added that CBI imposed this regulation on hand-woven carpets, Iran’s strategic non-oil export, and the officials responsible for making this decision must now be held accountable for all the losses suffered by the industry.
As per the directive devised in the wake of a currency crisis in Iran, the government has obliged all exporters to repatriate their foreign currency yields into the economic cycle of the country.
The move is aimed at boosting strained currency reserves in the short run, under increasingly harsh conditions. But it has understandably received negative feedback from private sector players.
“Up until two decades ago, the country used to earn more than $1.5 billion from handmade carpet exports, but today, we have lost our position as the world’s biggest carpet exporter. It is well known nowadays that when you lose an export market, you can’t easily take it back.”
According to Bahrami, the UAE, China, Germany and South American nations were the main customers of Iranian hand-woven carpets last year.