'Efforts on to get Srinagar included in UNESCO Creative Cities Network'

'Efforts on to get Srinagar included in UNESCO Creative Cities Network'

Move will help to promote Kashmir handicrafts in global markets

To promote Kashmir products, particularly handicrafts, in the global markets, Jammu and Kashmir Government is working on a project to get Srinagar city included in the ‘UNESCO Creative Cities’ network under the category of  ‘Crafts and Folk Art’.

The inclusion of Srinagar city in the ‘UNESCO Creative Cities’ would help promote trade of locally produce goods like Silk, Tweed, Pashmina and Jamawar Shawls, Silk carpets, Ladakh Carpets, Paper Machie, Embroidery, Ladakhi Handicrafts, Saffron, Jammu Basmati, Guchhi, Anardana, Honey of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to an official spokesperson, principal secretary, industries and commerce, Shailendra Kumar, said this while elaborating on the newly introduced “J&K Trade and Export Policy 2018-28’, which was approved by the State Administrative Council in a meeting headed by the Governor NN Vohra on Wednesday evening.  

“The Trade & Export Policy is aimed at assisting J&K in carving a place for itself in the national economy and a niche market for its products at the national and international levels,” Kumar said, adding efforts are on to bring the state on the map of global trade through its niche products. 

He said the private sector will be the lead stakeholder in the new endeavour and the State’s unique products and services would enable it to occupy rightful place in the global markets.  “The Government’s role would be only that of an enabler and facilitator in this process,” he said and added that the role of trade sector towards realization of the goal of economic development will be attained through structural transformation on the economy and enhanced value-added productivity that would in turn contribute to the process of competitiveness and lead to rapid economic growth.

Enumerating the broader objectives of the maiden Policy, Kumar said it will facilitate enhancing the State’s domestic trade volume to five times from the present level in next 10 years, will facilitate more investment in enterprises, help increase share of Trade & Commerce in GDP by at least 3% in next 5 years and to add to per capita income of the State, to help raise share of State in Gross National Export from the existing 0.05% to 2% in next 5 years, to help create employment opportunities for the educated unemployed and skilled youth in the field of trade and commerce, to facilitate Warehousing & Logistic support strategy and create support system for international certification, packaging, Common Facility Centres.

Kumar said the policy would also help boost organic cultivation and certification, identification of export sectors with high global demand for local products, to help develop J&K as a dynamic sustainable and favoured tourism destination and encourage private sector in creation of Tourism Infrastructure.

He said as a part of the Policy, the Government would support establishment of world-class warehouses/distribution centres/logistics parks/dry ports by allotting land and providing incentives for such activities. “It would also facilitate better road, rail and air connectivity to and from the State besides developing Communication & Logistics Infrastructure,” he said.