EghtesadOnline: The 29th International Handmade Carpet Exhibition is scheduled for August 18-25 at Tehran’s International Fairground, according to the capital’s Industries, Mining and Trade Organization.
Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus this year, there has been a three-month delay in holding national and international exhibitions in Iran, IRNA reported.
Yet, handmade carpet unions, businesspeople active in the field and related officials have insisted that this year’s International Handmade Carpet Exhibition be held as scheduled, since on top of the pandemic, the carpet industry has been dealt a heavy blow by US sanctions.
Weavers, companies, unions and businesspersons active in the handwoven carpet industry interested in participating in the event can refer to www.titexgroup.com to register and book pavilions.
Handmade carpet was once among Iran’s top non-oil 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 the Iranian carpet industry, according to the CEO of National Association for Handmade Carpet Producers’ Cooperatives.
“This decrease in exports has many reasons, the main ones being US sanctions as well as the obligation set by the Central Bank of Iran for traders to repatriate their foreign currency gains from exports, which in turn significantly increases the risk of trade and discourages exporters,” Abdollah Bahrami was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The official noted that CBI has imposed this regulation on hand-woven carpets, a strategic Iranian product in the field of non-oil exports, and the officials responsible for making this decision must now be held accountable for all the losses incurred by the industry.
As per a directive devised in the wake of a currency crisis in Iran, the government has obliged all exporters to repatriate their foreigncarpet currency yields into the country’s economic cycle.
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,” said the CEO of the association of carpet cooperatives.
According to Bahrami, the UAE, China, Germany and South American nations were the main customers of Iranian hand-woven carpets last year.