International buyer-seller meets to promote Kashmir handicrafts

By News Agency of Kashmir

Srinagar : The first ever 3-day International Buyer-Seller Meet aptly styled as Kashmir Expo-2007 took-off here today with Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad inaugurating the event in presence of Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh which is a path breaking initiative to give fillip to market Kashmir handicrafts globally.

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The event jointly organized by the State Government, J&K Bank and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has generated tremendous enthusiasm among artisans, exporters and buyers.

As many as 50 business tycoons from various countries with equal number of exporters from the State are participating in the Meet. It has been decided that the event henceforth would be an annual feature with increased participation of the buyers and sellers so that exports of Kashmir handicrafts are enhanced by adopting latest market strategies to generate more job avenues for artisans of the State and others engaged in this trade.

Azad and Jairam also had a round of 50 stalls set by the participating exporters for exhibition and sale of the export-oriented products. They along with the buyers took keen interest in the products and appreciated the workmanship of the artisans.
Elaborating on the objectives of the Expo, the Economic Advisor to Government and Chairman, J&K Bank, Dr. Haseeb Drabu said that prior to this buyer-seller meet no such focused effort had been made to project the Kashmir cottage sector in the world market in a systematic manner. He said for the first time major players in the world market were motivated to visit here and source their requirements. He said the intervention was targeted at the level of marketing to make it a self-generating eco-system.

Drabu said that buyer-seller meet was not a one-off event. He said along with it creation of support facilities were planned on a long term involvement. He said the objective was to create a link between Kashmir craft industries which had limited international marketing facilities and the consumer market of Europe and USA and other developed nations.

He said it was also designed to develop international network of marketing and product development expertise with the help of international product designers. He justified the Kashmir specific cottage sector initiative on the basis of the range of the crafts and making international buyer accessible to the smallest artisan.

Earlier in the morning, the Chief Minister and the Union Minister of State for Commerce laid foundation stone of Rs. 10.48 crore Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute Complex at Pampore near here. The institute spreading over 40 kanals would be constructed within nine months.