The export promotion council for handicrafts recently organised the 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair (IHGF), Delhi (autumn) 2017. Union Minister of textiles Smriti Irani inaugurated the five-day fair in Noida.
The fair showcased a variety of handloom and handicraft items from across the country, including India's northeast region - known for its rich and allied handloom and handicrafts.
The handloom and handicrafts of India are a reflection of the country's diverse and rich culture. The craft of each state in India has evolved through the centuries, drawing something from the different empires.
IHGF Autumn Fair has been the hallmark of growth of the Indian handicrafts sector for over 23 years.
"To promote the art and culture of India through handicrafts on the international platform, this handicrafts fair is the biggest initiative undertaken by EPCH. Moreover, it has created a platform for the artisans of the northeast to showcase the rich handloom and handicrafts. PM Modi always urges the industry that for development, development of the artisans is a must," said Smriti Irani.
Protecting Intellectual Property Rights of the design house and patterns of the artisans was also a part of the discussion in the fair.
Buyers from almost 100 countries flocked to the fair for business to business engagements.
Exhibitors from across the country including small and medium-scale exporters, startups exhibited a wide range of handicrafts including home decor items made of bamboo and cane, handloom outfits, cushions etc.
Stalls displaying a unique range of products from different states of northeast like Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, and Manipur grabbed the attention of the buyers.
"More than 300 women are working together with us and we all want that the nation should progress well. And I hope overseas buyers come here and take our products and have a business to business interaction with us," said an exhibitor from Assam.
"Earlier, the handicrafts of the northeast were not recognised by people but now it has gained worldwide recognition, and moreover there has been a lot of export of handicraft items, this has increased our business as well," said another exhibitor.
The IHGF fair also provided a platform to fashion designers, retailers and wholesalers to reach out to a greater number of buyers and present their products to not just India but international customers too.
IHGF has carved its presence in the world market since its inception in 1994, by offering huge sourcing opportunities to international buyers, agents etc and organizing such fair will go a long way to bring forth the rich handloom industry and its potentialities in the international limelight.
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