Last Friday, 18 November, saw the opening of the International Handicrafts Show at the Exhibition Grounds in the eastern Cairo quarter of Nasr City. The show is supported by the project of developing conglomerates of cultural and creative industries in the south Mediterranean, a project financed by the European Union, with contribution from the Italian cooperation programme and the union for the Mediterranean. The project runs in seven countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.
Under the theme “Creativity in the Mediterranean”, the show spreads over some 500 square metres of space with exhibits from 115 companies from Egypt, India, China, Japan, Oman, Nigeria, South Korea, Morocco, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The main exhibits cover the sectors of arts and crafts; textiles, ceramics, fur and leather, carpets and rugs, woodworking and cork, metalwork, stonework, paper and graphics, arts and crafts related to traditional construction and restoration of property and common areas, artisanal food products, and regional gastronomy.
The show, which runs till 25 November, is the first of its kind to be held in Egypt. It aims at creating an international platform for cultural exchange and trade based in Cairo.
Egyptian exports in handcrafts and cultural industries amount to an annual USD400 million, whereas its imports in the same field make some USD232 million. The country has a good chance of acting as a vibrant hub for such trade, given that Egypt is member of the 19-country COMESA, three-member Agadir treaty, and 18-member GAFTA.
20 November 2016