New Delhi: India's handicrafts exports jumped 17.5 percent year-on-year to USD 2.7 billion in the 2011-12 fiscal, despite demand slowdown in major importing markets like the US and Europe.
In 2010-11, the exports stood at USD 2.3 billion, according to the data provided by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).
The growth in the last fiscal was mainly driven by growing demand in new markets like China and Latin America.
"There is an increase in demand from markets like China, Middle East and Latin America," EPCH Executive Director Rakesh Kumar said here.
He, however, said the demand is still weak in the US and European markets which are witnessing sluggish economic growth.
The US and Europe together account for over 60 percent of the country's total handicraft exports.
Among items that registered the maximum growth in exports were imitation jewellery, which jumped 52 percent followed by woodwares 46 percent, shawls as artwares 33 percent and miscellaneous items 30 percent, in the last fiscal.
To reduce dependence on traditional markets, the exporters are exploring new markets.
The council expects handicraft exports to touch USD 300 billion.
Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicraft hubs catering to world markets, employing one million people.
First Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 16:29