Iran says it will begin ‘direct’ exports of its traditional hand-woven carpets to the United States in early 2017.
“As of the calendar month of Bahman (21 January-February 2017), Iran will export carpets directly from its own ports,” The head of Iran’s National Carpet Center, Hamid Karegar was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.
Earlier in January, Iran had shipped a cargo of hand-woven carpets to Los Angeles, United States through the port of Hamburg.
According to Karegar, the cargo weighed above 1,000 tons and had a total value of about $37 million.
“Iran used to export as much as $80 million of Persian carpets – globally known as one of the oldest and most valuable oriental handicrafts – to the US. The sanctions, however, brought the exports to the world’s largest buyer to zero in 2010,” Karegar added.
He further added that Iran had exported $134 million worth of handmade carpets, or 2,330 tons, to 80 countries between March and September this year.
The exports over the period, he emphasized, showed an increase of 18 percent in value and 11 percent in weight compared to the same period last year.
Karegar also said Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade was trying to have the designs of Persian carpets registered internationally, stressing that this is meant to prevent rivals producers such as India and Pakistan from copying Iranian designs.
The official said Iran has a total of 40 carpet designs that each belong to a different geographical region. He added that 29 of those designs have been internationally registered in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the past two years.
Press TV contributed to this report
Photo Credit: Pouria Pakizeh, Isna