Sunday, March 4, 2007

Germany, U.S. buy 50% of Persian rugs


Germany, U.S. buy 50% of Persian rugs
Sun, 04 Mar 2007 12:51:20
Iran exports its Persian rugs to more than 100 countries, said an Iranian carpet industry official Sunday, adding the German and U.S. markets accounted for 50 percent of Iran's hand-woven carpets for export between March and November 2006. Abdollah Ahrari, who heads the carpet division at the Khorassan Razavi Commercial Organization, said 10 countries purchase some 80 percent of the Persian rugs that Iran exports to international markets. Italy was among the top two target markets for Iran's Persian carpet exports in 2005 but it's been replaced by the U.S. as a major importer of Persian rugs. Islamic countries however import only 15 percent of Iran's Persian carpets. "Among Muslim states, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar recorded the highest volume of Persian carpet imports from Iran in the eight-month period," Ahrari said. The industry official indicated Iran needs to boost its Persian carpet exports to the Persian Gulf states and Lebanon, adding the Iranian government must play a role in financially supporting the domestic carpet industry. The government currently offers incentives to carpet exporters but Ahrari said individual carpet weavers also need to receive state support in order to improve the quality of their products. Iran's carpet industry has been losing its regional and international markets to competitors like India, Pakistan and China which enjoy cheaper labor and greater state support for the production and export of their carpets. Observers say weavers in these countries often reproduce traditionally Persian designs in their cheaper-made products, damaging Iran's international reputation for its Persian rugs. HRE/MR/BG
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