Official says Iran's carpet exports reach $116 million
Iran's carpet exports reached USD 116 million in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2012), deputy of Iran National Carpet Center Mojtaba Feizollahi said, Press TV reported.
Feizollahi made the announcement, adding that the country exports its carpets to more than 50 countries including Germany, Italy and Japan.
Feizollahi was speaking on the sidelines of a one-day seminar on Iranian hand-woven carpets held in South Africa's capital, Johannesburg, on Monday.
He noted that Iran exported more than USD 560 million worth of Persian hand-woven carpets in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 19, 2012).
In April, the head of Iran National Carpet Center said the Islamic Republic had developed plans to export as much as USD one billion worth of carpets in the current Iranian calendar year.
"Carpets are of great importance in the non-oil exports of the Islamic Republic," Baqer Aqa-Alikhani said, adding that boosting carpet exports to Asian and Arab states such as China and the UAE top Iran's agenda.
There is an estimated population of 1.2 million weavers in Iran, producing carpets for domestic and international markets.
Iran exported over $560 million worth of handmade carpets to 80 countries last year.
According to the Customs Administration data, carpet exports last year rose by 0.8 percent in value, but decreased by 15.4 percent in weight, compared to the year before.
Iran has developed plans to export as much as $1 billion worth of carpets in the current calendar year, Feizollahi said on April 7.
Edited by: S. Isayev