World missing Persian rug, Persian rug missing promos

World missing Persian rug, Persian rug missing promos

Baku, Azerbaijan, August 27

By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:

It would have been a pity for the world if let’s say Mercedes Benz’s market was limited to Germany due to lack of proper promotion. The pity exists, however, for some other product that is as much cherished worldwide.

The Persian rug is well-known across the world for its quality, beauty, and character. Yet, the market it enjoys is far from what experts and businessmen in the rug and carpet market believe it deserves.
August 27 was the last day of the 25th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition in Tehran. Trend took the chance to ask some of the exhibitors about their concerns. Almost unanimously they cited the lack of unified, powerful, and targeted promotion as the biggest hurdle against the export of the Persian carpet.

“Iranian customers buy 20 million square meters of carpet each year. Considering the fact that the world population is 100 times greater than Iran’s, through good promotion a great potential will be activated. If let’s say only five percent of the world population is encouraged to finally buy the Persian rug, the consumption will jump by 10 million square meters a year,” Hushang Fakher, owner of Sarab Baft, a handmade Persian rug company, said.

Karimi, head of the Association for Carpet Producers and Exporters of Iran said “correct promotion” is needed, adding, “It is a government’s job, not a tradesman’s. We expect our embassies and trade attaches to do better.”

In the first half of 2016, Iran’s nonoil exports to the United States grew by degrees to reach $39 million. Surprisingly, the Persian rug had the greatest share in the exported value.
“The Persian rug is still the world’s number one in terms of quality. However, in terms of marketing it has lost to Pakistan, China, and India. The Persian carpet dates back 2,500 years, while those of the other countries date back only about 100 years,” said Qias Ale-Rasoul, who has been exporting carpets for 60 years.

Carpet counts for 20 percent of Iran’s nonoil export value. This is while gas condensates, now exported at about 400,000 barrels per day, are also put in the nonoil basket by the Iranian government. That indicates how great the 20 percent of the Persian rug is.

According to Director of the National Iranian Carpet Center Hamid Kargar, despite the shortcomings, the Persian rug still counts for 30 percent of the world’s carpet trade.

Last Iranian fiscal year (which ended March 19), Iran’s direct handmade rug export to the US, one of its greatest traditional markets, stood at $27 million.

Carpet has a unique potential for job creation as well, with many job titles in dying, weaving, selling, research, etc. In Iran, about one million people are working in the weaving section alone, 700 thousand of whom work fulltime.

Follow the author on Twitter @mehdisepahvand

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