Iran acknowledged on Saturday that its carpet industry had been battered as the result of sanctions as well as economic slowdown in top consumer countries. Nevertheless, it emphasized that it is still the world’s leading exporter of hand-woven carpets and currently has the lion’s share of the market in its hands.
Hamid Karegar, the head of the National Carpet Center of Iran, said Iran’s carpet exports from March 2013-2014 stood at $314 million. The figure, he said, was the highest among all carpet exporters. Tracking Iran as next carpets exporters are India and Pakistan, the official added.
Karegar said that Persian carpets – as they are internationally known – have been exported to some 80 countries.
He said the exports over a period of 10 months starting March 2014 had seen an increase of 14 percent in terms of value and 32 percent in terms of weight. The official added that Iran expects its carpet exports to be higher when the current Persian calendar year ends on 21 March 2015.
Karegar further said around 25 percent of Persian carpets used to be exported to the United States. “However, Iran lost that share of the market due to the sanctions implemented,” he has been quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official further said the economic slowdown in key importing countries had been affected not only Iran’s carpet industry but also most of the producing states.
Persian carpets are sought after internationally for their delicate designs and their good quality. The country’s official figures show the carpets have a significant share in Iran’s non-oil exports.
Iran exports 45 percent of its hand-woven carpets to Asia, 43 percent to Europe and the rest to other continents. It says it has found several new clients for its carpet that include South Africa, Russia, Brazil, China and Indonesia.
There are at least 2.3 million carpet weavers in Iran. They weave some five million square meters of carpets each year of which 80 percent are exported.
Iran’s carpet industry is today believed to be facing fierce competition from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Turkey. China was once a serious rival of Iranian carpets, but officials say the country has presently become the main customer of Iranian hand-woven carpets.
By Press TV