Handicraft sector of Pakistan has the prospective to bring in huge foreign exchange provided it is promoted through logistic support by the government. Through fairs and exhibitions, handicraft can play pivotal role in economic turnaround of the country. It can help attract foreign buyers and bring in much needed foreign exchange to the country.
Germany and China economies are prospering today because of their own trade fairs and exhibitions and exchange of delegations. Germany is at present the leader as far as sector-specific exhibitions are concerned as over 1,000 exhibitions are held in Germany annually.
Internet companies like Etsy and Germany’s DaWanda are helping to promote a renaissance in handicrafts in Europe and around the world. The firms provide platforms that enable individual artisans to sell their wares on the web in a growing market niche. Business is booming, as both companies expand internationally and venture capitalists make new investments.
Currently, the private sector in Pakistan is also focusing on holding exhibitions and it is a good sign for the economic well being of the country. It is always emphasized the need for exchange of business delegations and holding of exhibitions for being confirmed tools to promote economic activities.
Exhibitions are one of the most effective marketing tools for increasing sales figures and increasing markets. The exhibitions help with finding new clients and partners besides increasing sales figures through expansion in geographical range of their sales.
Taking part in exhibitions is not only just an opportunity to improve the competitiveness of products, but it also make the manufacturer more competitive by making the best way business processes, expanding service range, increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Billions of dollars can be earned in Pakistan annually through the export of handicrafts provided ultra modern designs are introduced to capture global markets. Pakistan has potential and expertise to produce the world best quality handicrafts and compete in the international market provided private sector is well trained on modern scientific techniques in line with new trends and market driven demands.
Several years ago, export of Indian handicrafts was negligible in the international market but within a short period of time it rose to rupees 46 billion. The crafts of India are diverse, rich in history and religion. The craft of each state in India reflect the influence of different empires. Throughout centuries, crafts have been embedded as a culture and tradition within rural communities. The roots of Indian art and crafts are entrenched very deep and they are capable of influencing the generations passing by.
The present status of craft in India owes much to the rich craft traditions of the past. Most of the crafts from the past continue to flourish due to their utilitarian nature, their availability to the common people, and popularity in domestic and foreign markets.
There is a great demand for rich brocades and zari work. The repertoire of saris ranges from Banarsi Amru, Tanchoi from Surat, Paithani, Patola, and Kancheevaram to the cotton saris from the tribal regions of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh etc, to enchant the modern Indian woman.
There is a profusion of materials available to the consumers these days. One can get a variety of garments made of different silks and mixed fabrics.
Richly embroidered garments, woven shawls and household items are in vogue these days. Mainly craftsmen from Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, North Eastern states etc create these products.
There is a flourishing market for tablecloths from Kashmir. Woolen shawls from Himachal and North Eastern states too are popular.
The need in Pakistan is to train craftsmen with latest modern techniques combined with latest designs popular in the global markets and guide manufacturers not to compromise with the quality of products.
Punjab Small Industries Corporations of all provinces, TEVTA and NAVTTC should only train the artisan with special emphasis on quality production of international standard for abroad marketing.
There is great scope of Pakistan made handicrafts in USA and in all Europeans states. A foreign buyer demand is the latest best quality product especially branded irrespective of the prices.
Punjab Small Industries Corporation must get rid of century old fashioned designs of handicrafts and come forward to join the international markets with quality products.
Associated working artisans must be paid more if produce the best quality for export. Only approved handcrafts designs by high profile experts be allowed to be exported.
Branded products are very popular in France, USA, Germany and several other countries because of their best quality.
Pakistan can enter the global handicrafts market by improving lifestyle through art. The proprietor of their own business handcrafts jewellery, embroiders dresses, saris and other home textiles, and exports them to regional and European countries.
Indian jewellery is in great demand in the international market so one imports raw material and some finished goods from India, and exports them to Canada after adding a little value of their own. In this way Pakistan can be well placed in the international market for handmade goods.
Women highly appreciate efforts that provide them the opportunity of working from their homes in times of economic and financial crisis. Due to load-shedding and the successive shutdown of industry their husbands have been rendered jobless. But with this work one can earn a respectable life.
Government’s quick measures
The e-commerce policy will soon be announced by the government in which measures will be taken to increase exports of handicrafts. There is a major increase in export of handicraft to the United States.
Pakistan encircles a huge ethical and social diversity. Each province represents its own customs and values. Handicrafts from Pakistan contemplate awareness, artistic sense, and culture of its people.
The most famous Pakistani handicrafts are Ajrak, glass bangles, handmade rugs, wood carvings, crochet work, embroidered dresses, bed-sheets, shawls, and much more.
Embroidery of Multan, Bahawalpur, and other surrounding areas is also famous all around the world. The mirror work of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and D. G. Khan is commendable. Multani bed-sheets and Kashmiri shawls are considered to be the best gifts for a newly-wed bride.
The handicrafts industry is a rich industry which includes carpet work, sumac, pot work, saddle making, weaving, wood work, tile craving, ceramics, embroidery, needle work, candle work, stones work, and much, much more.
Tourists show great interest in all these and take them back to their homeland as souvenirs. The intermingling of different regions has paved the way for a diverse handicraft sector.
Women in the rural areas, still today, laboriously work in the field of handicrafts to earn their livings. People around the world like and emulate the cultural diversities in Pakistan via handicrafts.