South Africa is IITF focus country second year running

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 11:50 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The arts and crafts of South Africa are back at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) here, with it being given the status of focus country at the fair for the second consecutive year.

Thirty-odd South African craft micro-firms have set up stalls this year, their participation being supported by the country's Department of Trade and Industry.

This encore, with many participants returning to the fair, follows their good showing with unexpectedly high volumes of sales recorded within the first week of IITF 2012.

"This year we want to direct our attention to the trade of arts and crafts as a way to strengthen the already tight relationship between the two countries," Elizabeth Thabethe South African deputy minister of trade and industry said at the inauguration.

Her department has a scheme aimed at developing export markets for South African products and services, and recruiting new foreign direct investment into the country. The department also aims at promoting emerging craft enterprises, especially those in the country's rural areas.

That South African craft are an obvious hit is evident from the crowds thronging the country's pavilion area.

"India has a vibrant handicraft tradition, which attracts Indians to our arts and crafts," Judy Barnard of Limpopo Ceramics, which is exhibiting its products here, told IANS.

Limpopo were also here at IITF 2012 and their participation has yielded satisfactory returns of around 30,000 South African rands till this year round, Barnard Said.

Bogela Bomtle beadwork from South Africa's North West province is exhibiting here for the first time with exquisite beadwork products that serve as corporate gifts, jewellery and home decor.

Rober Kaliyongo who runs an art gallery in White River, South Africa, and is here after last year said he has had orders worth $10,000.

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