SRINAGAR: With an aim to promote and find new markets for the world famous Kashmir handicrafts, the fifth international ‘Buyer-Seller Meet’ in which more than 75 foreign participants from about 25 countries are participating has commenced here on Saturday.
The three-day meet organized by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) will conclude on Monday, March 10.
While the KCCI described the meet as a means to secure and promote the hands behind the Kashmir arts, it was said that biggest challenge faced in the market is to stop the fakes and counterfeits from Amritsar and other places creeping into markets on the name of Kashmir arts.
Recently appointed Financial Commissioner, industries and commerce, Kursheed Ahamd Ganie, who was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Buyer- Seller Meet’ said that genius, skills and competitiveness of Kashmir handicraft has to be secured by all the means as it is because of these crafts that have given a recognition to Kashmir.
Stressing upon the KCCI to take steps to discourage efforts to push in fakes to keep alive distinctiveness of Kashmir handicrafts in world market, Ganie said there are some people in the business, who in a race to make quick money are rattling the whole handicraft business and they need to be identified and discouraged. He said a meet like this will provide a chance to the invited buyers to place orders for the genuine art products.
The president of KCCI Sheikh Ashiq Ahamd in his address said that Chamber is focusing its attention on all the segments of Kashmir handicrafts and as a part of this endeavor wants such international meets to be made a continuous feature to facilitate buyers pick genuine stuff of the highly world over reputed Kashmir handicrafts.
“This is not an effort only to sell a product but this is an endeavor to preserve our heritage handicrafts while reviewing our traditional designs to go hand in hand with innovation and the modern trends,” Sheikh said.
Some of the foreign buyers, who spoke on the occasion, hoped that given the focus on quality, Kashmir handicrafts do have a potential to generate more business.
Saeed Mohamamd Abdoh Hassan Al Sharief from UAE said that their company has been dealing in carpets for more than two decades and there has been significant improvement in the quality and color schemes over the years, but stressed that more effort needs to be made to improve the quality.
President of Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turkey, Hasan Cepni said that their country is keen to tap the potential and hoped that they will act as bridge to Europe and rest of the world in promoting the of the Kashmir handicrafts.
Cepni said that their area Bursa is existing on the ancient Silk Route, with it being famous for textile, automotive and food industry. Cepni extended his invitation to KCCI to hold a business event at Bursa, a historic trade center in Turkey.
The exhibitors displaying their products expressed hope that more enquries from these international buyers and tie-ups will help in the promotion of their business. The event is being sponsored by Ministry of Commerce, and Industries, Government of India.
This year the buyers are mostly from USA, China, South Africa, U.K., Germany, U.A.E., Slovakia, Luxemburg, Libya, Palestine, Italy, Brazil, Turkey, Qatar, Austria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Netherland, Iran, Canada, Singapore, Tunisia, Egypt, Hebron, Greece and nearly 50 exhibtors displaying wide array of crafts.