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Carpet exports get woven into US woes

Source: PTI
April 30, 2009 17:34 IST
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India's carpet exports saw a sharp decline of 31 per cent to $600 million in 2008-09 as demand from the US, which accounts for half of the country's overseas shipment of such products, fell under the impact of recession.

Exports of carpets and rugs woven in Srinagar, Jaipur, Udaipur and Varanasi stood at $875.71 million in 2007-08 giving employment to about 2.5 million artisans and unskilled labourers.

"Carpet is a luxury product and not a necessityÂ…Currently, people have economic insecurity and I feel that they will buy carpet only after meeting their basic needs," Carpet Export Promotion Council Chairman Ashok Jain told PTI.

However, Jain said, "I am hopeful that the demand will pick up from September or October onwards."

The exporters are weaving a new business strategy that would focus on more affordable range of products, he said.

Besides devising less expensive products for the US market, the industry would focus on alternative markets as well. "Russia, Latin America, South Africa and the Gulf are the upcoming markets. We would like to increase exports in these countries," Jain added.

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