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Bengal to showcase craft at global fairs

Mitra: Upbeat

New Delhi, Nov. 24: Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra today said the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) had proposed to showcase products developed in Bengal at international trade fairs.

While promoting Bengal’s tourism and handicraft sectors, Mitra said the ITPO wanted to take specific “Made in Bengal” products to countries such as Brazil, Japan and Australia.

“The ITPO has proposed that a Bengal stall should be part of the international trade fairs in Sao Paulo, Perth, Chile, Osaka and also in Brics nations. It will be a great opportunity for our state to showcase our handicrafts and products. We will be going to several world cities and be able to bring in business for craftsmen,” said Mitra on the sidelines of the West Bengal Day at the India International Trade Fair here today.

He said he had received a “verbal” proposal from Apeejay Surrendra Group, owners of Oxford Book Store chain, to sell Bengal handicraft, especially the geographical indication certified products, at its stores across the country.

Bengal has been able to secure geographical indication certificate, which is a form of copyright, for six products — nakshi kantha (traditional needle craft), leather goods from Shantiniketan, Baluchari saree from Bankura, Dhaniakhali saree from Hooghly, Santipur saree from Nadia and Darjeeling tea.

“The Oxford Book Store chain has approached us with a proposal to start selling Bengal handicraft in their stores. They have given a verbal confirmation in the matter. However, we still have to take a final call on it,” said Mitra.

The state government has to decide on how to source products from the stores and how the revenue will be shared among the government, artisans and the book store.

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