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After foreign envoys, Canadian business delegation arriving to establish trade ties with J&K

Srinagar: After the visit of foreign envoys, it is the turn of a Canadian trade delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

A delegation of Indo -Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) is visiting the valley next month to establish trade ties with Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO) in association with Consulate General of India, Toronto, and Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) recently organized a virtual meet to promote handicraft and handloom products of the valley.

During the meeting, Apoorva Srivastava, Consul General, Consulate General of India Toronto (ICCC) said there was a huge demand for exquisite handmade products in Canada. He said he would encourage importers from Canada to buy exquisite products from Jammu and Kashmir.

Director of handicrafts department Mahmood Ahmad Shah told The Kashmir Monitor that the delegation would visit the valley in April to cement trade ties with Kashmiri businessmen

“During the virtual event, we gave a presentation about the handicrafts and handlooms of Jammu and Kashmir. Our exporters also interacted with the importers of Canada. The delegation promised to visit the valley in April,” he said.

Shah said Canada could prove a potential market for the valley’s handicrafts and handlooms given the geographic and climate pattern of the country.

“We export a huge chunk of carpets and shawls to the USA. Only a fraction of our carpets is exported to Canada where winters are very severe. Canadian people are interested in woolens, shawls, and carpets. It could be a potential market for Jammu and Kashmir’s handicrafts and handlooms,” he said.

Shah said during the delegation’s visit, a strategy will be discussed for the promotion of handicrafts and handlooms in Canada.

“Jammu and Kashmir will be among the 10 states where the delegation will visit. Accordingly, a strategy will be framed about catering to the markets in Canada,” he said.

Official figures reveal Jammu and Kashmir exported goods worth Rs 1360 crores in 2019-20. Most of the products exported were woolen readymade garments and manmade yarn fabrics.

Shah said the export of handicrafts to various countries, which was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will resume in summer.

“The handicrafts sector is showing signs of improvement. We are planning bigger promotions and exhibitions to increase sales,” he said.

Shah said the department has also resumed physical marketing of handicrafts by participating in different exhibitions across the country.

“Currently an exhibition is being held in Delhi Hatt and much more will follow in coming months,” he said.

Currently, the department of handloom and handicrafts is running more than 500 training centers with a capacity of 13,000 artisans.