Friday, February 04, 2005

Iran Daily: Arab-Sorkhi - Persian Rugs May Lose int'l Markets

Iran Daily: "Persian Rugs May Lose intÕl Markets

TEHRAN, Feb. 4--A senior Commerce Ministry official warned here on Friday that the Persian carpet industry is on the verge of losing its international markets, stressing the need to utilize all the capacities to prevent this.
Deputy Commerce Minister Feizollah Arab-Sorkhi told ILNA that the main challenge currently facing the once lucrative industry is that Persian carpet weavers are not yet capable of working in an organized manner.
ÒSome 90 percent of IranÕs carpets are produced in rural areas and the weavers know nothing about customersÕ tastes in the international markets,Ó he said, stressing that high production costs have also made Persian carpets less competitive at the international level.
He said more than 70 percent of revenues from domestic sales of Persian carpets would go to the weavers, adding that rival countries have access to far more inexpensive workforce.
Arab-Sorkhi said Persian carpets are exported to 100 countries with 20 countries accounting for 80 percent of the trade.
Statistics released by Iran's Customs Administration suggest that Iran exported $305 million worth of Persian carpets during March-November, down by $42 million from the figure for the corresponding period last year. Each kilo of Persian carpet used to sell for $27.2 during the year to March 2003, but this fell to $25.7 in the first half of the year to March 2004."