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    International Coir Fair at Kochi in December

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    In a bid to promote coir products in the international market, the will organise India International Coir Fair 2007 on December 7-11 at Kochi, Kerala.

    “The event is expected to have participation of 75 to 100 serious buyers of coir from traditional markets in the European Union and the United States, and niche markets in South America, North America, Africa, Australia, West Asia and China. Also, we expect to draw a large number of buyers from domestic market. The board hopes to generate a business of Rs 100 crore in foreign exchange,” AC Jose, chairman, Coir Board, told Indiaretailing.

    “The commerce ministry has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the conduct of the fair, targeting about 100 foreign buyers and a large number of domestic buyers. The fair is being held after a gap of six years and will now become a regular event,” , union minister of state for commerce, told the media.

    The coir industry is one sector where rupee appreciation has not made impact on exports. It is estimated that coir exports will touch revenue of $165 million in 2007-08, as against $136 million in 2006-07.

    “The coir sector is hoping to achieve a target of Rs 750 crore during 2007-08, of which Rs 400 crore is expected to come from coir mats and mattings alone. During the last financial year, coir exports touched Rs 605 crore. If the momentum continues, coir exports can easily touch Rs 1,000 crore shortly. There is growing environmental consciousness and recognition for natural fibre worldwide,” Jose elaborated.

    Alappuzha in Kerala has been chosen for implementing the industrial infrastructure upgradation scheme. The centre has sanctioned Rs 56 crore, of which Rs 42.50 crore comes as government grant. Besides, the commerce ministry for the first time has provided financial assistance to the Coir Board to participate in international fairs and exhibitions.

    Coir Board has proposed an outlay of Rs 1,069.30 crore for the coir sector during the 2007-2012 Plan period.

    – Vishnu Rageev R, Bangalore Bureau