New Delhi, Jun 28: India's handicraft exports are expected to nearly double during the current fiscal to Rs 17,000 crore and further increase to Rs 24,000 crore by FY 2020-21 on account of increasing demand in Western markets, according to an Assocham report.
In 2014-15, the country's handicraft exports stood at about Rs 9,000 crore.
"The exports are likely to reach Rs 17,000 crore mark by the end of current fiscal and is further expected to cross Rs 24,000 crore mark by 2020-21," the report said.
It further said the exporters need to focus on areas such as design, innovation, technology upgradation and adequate financing to increase production and competitiveness in the global market.
The exporting community should also invest in research and development and keep on upgrading their capabilities to provide a variety of products, it added. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of 325 handicraft clusters of the total 2,864 across India.
Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat are other major states with significant number of such clusters. Meanwhile Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Vice Chairman Rajesh Kumar Jain said that demand is increasing in countries such as the US and Germany.
"Bulk buyers in the US are not totally dependent on China, they are placing orders here also. So we are optimistic that in this fiscal, we will record healthy growth in exports," Jain said.
According to the EPCH data, India exported handicraft items worth USD 2.78 billion during the April to January 2013-2014 period, whereas the country exported handicrafts worth USD 2.30 billion during the same period in 2012-13.
The US accounts for 28 per cent in India's total handicrafts exports followed by UAE (11 per cent), Germany, UK and Latin American countries (five per cent each).