FHAN President Dharma Raj Shakya (right) addresses FHAN’s 38th Annual General Meeting. Photo: Dinesh Gole/Republica
KATHMANDU, Jan 12: The Federation of Nepal Handicraft Association (FHAN) is preparing to build SAARC Design Center and Nepal Handicraft Village.
Govind Prasad Regmi, director general of the FHAN, told Republica that the federation plans to build and bring these two projects into operation in two years.
The SAARC Design Center will be an infrastructure where people working in the sector will be provided with training to develop new designs that are trending in the markets. They will be provided product diversification training and technical support, according to Regmi.
“The center will be developed through joint efforts of the government and the Bhutan-based SAARC Development Fund that will be providing 85 percent of total cost as technical support,” Regmi said. “The cost toward purchasing land and constructing the building required for smooth operation of the center will be provided by the government.”
Regmi further said that necessary infrastructure will be built within the next year and the project will come into operation the following year.
Meanwhile, as its long-term vision, the federation plans to develop Nepal Handicraft Village that would provide a common forum to people working in the sector and equip them with better technical skills.
The project is expected to help Nepali handicraft producers gain bigger share of the international market. Additionally, the village will provide financial assistance to the people involved in the sector.
So far, the US, Europe, Australia, and Canada are the major markets for Nepali handicraft products. Besides, there is a rising demand for these products in Japan, Korea, and Cambodia.
“Nepal Handicraft Village will massively boost handicraft movement in Nepal,” Regmi said. “As the organization’s long-term vision, it will create a supportive environment for the people involved in the sector by providing them both technical and financial supports. It will also help improve business network.”
Regmi further added that the federation was discussing with the government to select a suitable site for the large-scale projects. He said the sites could be developed in Sakhu or Chobar areas in the Kathmandu Valley.
Dharma Raj Shakya, president of the FHAN, said that the new executive committee that is expected to be elected on Saturday would prioritize the plan of building SAARC Design Center and Nepal Handicraft Village during its tenure to help develop and promote Nepal’s handicraft sector.
Kiran Bhadahur Khatri, associate member of the FHAN, said that these projects would provide incentives to producers in the sector and develop the industry by expanding opportunities for exporters.