New Delhi, Nov 15 : Traders in India consider the Malaysian market as an "unopened gift".
This became evident during the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair 2008 held here from October 15-18.
Many traders expressed their eagerness to expand their business to Asia as a whole, but most of them showed interest in Malaysia.
"We are businessmen and we heard that Malaysia is a good place to do business," NST Online quoted Poonaran Bhawani, who sells colonial design wooden and brass furniture, as saying.
"Most of our customers are from the United States and Europe. We never had Malaysian or even Singaporean customers before, but we will be interested if there is demand," he added.
Malaysian consumers will most certainly be interested in Indian handicrafts and gift items.
In spite of receiving good reviews from the West, Indian handicrafts are yet to penetrate the Asian market, other than Japan.
One of the reasons behind the lack of interest in Indian goods is a misconception that they are of inferior quality.
Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Executive Director Rakesh Kumar said the council will try to change this mentality.
While commenting on global recession, Kumar said the handicrafts and gifts industry in India seemed unaffected.
More than 2,300 exhibitors from all over India showcased their crafts at the fair, which was attended by 3,000 buyers and importers.