New Delhi: Handicraft exports grew by 11 per cent to USD 227 million in April this year, mainly on account of rising demand from new markets like China, Latin America and the Middle-East, according to the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

Exports stood at USD 204 million in April, 2011. "There is an increase in demand from new markets like China, the Middle-East and Latin America," EPCH Executive Director Rakesh Kumar.

The demand, however, is still weak in the US and European markets that are witnessing sluggish economic growth.

The US and Europe together account for over 60 per cent of the country's total Handicraft exports.

Among the items that registered the maximum growth in exports in April were woodwares that saw a rise of 50 per cent, followed by imitation jewellery at 39 per cent, shawls as artwares 31 per cent and miscellaneous items 12 per cent.

The Council expects handicraft exports to touch USD 3.2 billion in the current fiscal.

During 2011-12, these exports touched USD 2.75 billion. Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicraft hubs catering to world markets, employing one million people.


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