The Dubai based souvenirs and handicraft multinational Fakih Collection- a leading global souvenir firm-is increasing its direct sourcing from Sri Lanka, says the Ministry of Industry & Commerce.
“Made in Sri Lanka handicrafts are beginning to make an impression among our buyers in Dubai’s Jumeira Shopping mall and Karama Market, and also in several Qatari, Bahrain and Abudhabi malls. We have already expanded our Sri Lankan craft-making supply chain to 2000 households” said N.P Fakih, the Managing Director of Dubai based $345 Mn (Y2012) Fakih Group on 03 June in Colombo.
Fakih is in town to identify new handicraft supply sources from Sri Lanka as well as to inspect his firm’s on-going souvenir and handicraft making in Kandy and Elpitiya. “We are now hunting for additional other villages who can supply us. ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ eco-friendly souvenirs are a hit in in Dubai’s Jumeira Shopping mall, Karama Market, and also in several Qatar, Bahrain and Abudhabi malls. I am happy to say that on average, we are now buying almost $ 200,000 valued items from Sri Lanka on a monthly basis.
The two main international markets buying Lankan handicrafts are Vietnam and the Middle East. Middle Eastern shoppers snap up most souvenir types made in Sri Lanka including wood based items while Vietnam market mostly prefers paper and newspaper based items-such as our eco-friendly pencils made from newspapers, he said.
“We have already expanded our Sri Lankan supply chain to 2000 craft-making households -200 are making paper products, 500 families in palm and similar grass based (or strong ‘Iluk’ leaves) products, 200 in bamboo products and 1100 families doing part assembly of eco-friendly handy crafts. Most households are earning around Rs 20000 per month by supplying to us” said Fakih, and added: “In March 2013, Fakih Group was certified as Our Sri Lankan product line will a prime attraction in my up-coming $ 85 Mn showpiece to be constructed at Street 19 in the vicinity of Times Square in Dubai.