Handicraft Export Promotion Program an international gateway to Yemeni handicrafts [Archives:2008/1179/Business & Economy]

August 7 2008

By: Nadia Al-Sakkaf
For the first time Yemen participates in an international handicrafts and products exhibition targeting whole sellers at the Messe- Frankfurt Exhibition in Germany. The visitors expressed their interest and since then the doors were open for Yemeni small and micro enterprises to present their work to the world

Fekri Saleh was amused when he saw how the pieces of Yemeni handicrafts on display in a small stand in Hall 9.2 attracted visitors' attention like magnet. Hearing sounds of delight made him think, why on earth had Yemen not participated in the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition before? Messe Frankfurt is one of the largest exhibitions in the world and is organized each year to exhibit all kinds of gifts , home decoration , Christmas decorations, handicrafts , incense , other promotion and marketing handicrafts programs and fair trade stands from deferent countries and antiques.

The Social Fund for Development through its Handicraft Export Promotion Program (HEPP) contracted two small scale enterprises Talha Center and Baituna Lilturath, to collect 17 distinct pieces from around the country in order to display them in the exhibition and make contracts with interested retailers from around the world for bulk quantities.

Yemen's stand included many handicrafts such as embroidered cushions, huge carpets from Socotra Island, bamboo baskets, traditional daggers (Jambia), old Sana'a city lanterns, hand made designer scissors and many others.

Fekri explains that the visitors commented on how beautiful many of the items are, and during the three day exhibition HEPP landed 22 contracts worth more than 60,000 dollars. This year because the exhibition was held in the summer vacation, not many people could visit. And there is a great opportunity in other exhibitions next year.

“This participation introduces HEPP (handicraft export promotion program) program to the world as the gateway to Yemen. This program will facilitate everything concerning shipments