The minister declaring open the Hastha 2014, a handicraft exhibition organized by the Department of Industries of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) at the National Art Gallery in Colombo on Saturday (02), said the market for handicrafts within the country too had expanded. “Previously, our handicrafts had been mainly intended to be sent abroad for the export market. With the victory of war, the number of tourist arrivals has increased by five-fold compared to 2008. This has resulted in further expansion of the market. The handicraft producers should cater to this expanded market,” he said.
Minister Gammanpila said that the WPC’s Department of Industries was conducting capacity building and skills development projects to improve the handicraft industry in the province. “We provide technical know-how and training, tools and equipment free of charge and help the craftsmen find market for their produce. We also evaluate their performances and felicitate their effort with certificates and awards. All these are done because we have determined that the handicrafts industry should be protected and promoted. The President too believes so,” the minister said.
The exhibition is held from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday (03).