KATHMANDU, Oct 28: The Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) is organizing the 18th Handicraft Trade Fair and 16th Craft Competition from November 19 in Kathmandu.
The three-day trade fair is expected to rejuvenate the business of Nepali handmade products that has been largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are hopeful that the trade fair will help promote the pandemic-hit business of the Nepali products both in domestic and international market,” said Rabindra Shakya, vice-president of FHAN and coordinator of the trade fair.
According to the organizer, a large variety of handmade products will be on display under a single roof during the trade fair. Products made out of natural fibers and the ones that come in extensive embroidery will be among the attractions of the exhibition.
Shakya said the country’s handicraft business was adversely affected by the impacts of the pandemic mainly because of a short supply of raw materials and exorbitant supply costs. According to him, around 5-10 percent of the traders completely shut their businesses during the period. “However, the sector is attracting many youths after a decline in impacts of the coronavirus,” he said.
Shakya said due to the impacts of the coronavirus, air service operators have started charging high prices in the name of chartered flights. “It has increased our cost by multifold, which has affected the competitiveness of the Nepali products in the international market,” he added.
The records with FHAN show the sector’s transaction stood at Rs 12 billion in the last fiscal year. Half of the amount was earned from exports. The handicraft sector provides jobs to around 800,000 people.