Ambiente 2019 got underway at Frankfurt in the august presence of Shantmanu, Development Commissioner [Handicrafts], Pratibha Parkar, Consul General of India in Frankfurt, Germany, OP Prahladka, Chairman – EPCH, Rakesh Kumar, Director General – EPCH and other member of COA –EPCH Rajesh Kumar Jain and Abdul Azim. The fair will be held from 8 – 12 February, 2019. Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI, Raj Manek, Managing Director, Messe Frankfurt India were also present.

An year ago, Messe Frankfurt at a festive ceremony on the final day of Ambiente 2018 declared India as the “Partner Country” in Ambiente 2019. After Japan, India is now Ambiente’s second Asian partner country said Rakesh Kumar, Director General – EPCH. Ambiente Fair held at Frankfurt every year in the month of February is one of the oldest established and well known fairs for presentation of new products, new trends and new innovations. More than 4,500 companies from 80 countries participate in this fair. The fair attracts around 1,50,000 trade visitors. Majority of the items displayed at the fair are houseware, decorative, home furnishing, fashion accessories, Christmas decoration and wooden handicrafts etc.

This year 517 Indian companies are participating in the show displaying exquisite Christmas Decoration, Fashion jewellery, wooden handicrafts items, textiles furnishing, leather products, lamps and lighting, ceramics, and bathroom accessories alongwith live demonstration of craft skill by five master craftsmen and GI craft display by setting up two themes “stepwell and karawan.” These craftsmen are showcasing skills of Gemstone Carving, Metal Craft, Kani shawls, Mughal Wood Carving and Masland Mat Weaving and being curated by Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI for O/o Development Commissioner [Handicrafts] informed Rakesh Kumar, Director General-EPCH.

EPCH has also set up theme pavilion showcasing sustainable eco-friendly ”Make in India” crafts from North Eastern States of India. As a partner country, India for the first time is being projected at the main locations of Messe Frankfurt at Galleria and Café being curated by Indian Designers Ayush Kasliwal and Sandeep Sangaru.

Kumar further informed that as India is a partner country, an India Evening is being organised titled – “India – A Profitable Destination for Sourcing Handicrafts in co-ordination with Consulate General of India, Frankfurt on 10th February, 2019 in side-lines of Ambiente 2019. Shantmanu, Development Commissioner will be the Chief Guest alongwith senior officials from Consultate General of India and Messee Frankfurt.

While speaking on the occasion, Shantmanu, said that India’s participation as partner country will add to the vibrancy and diversity of the fair and familiarize global manufacturers, retailers and brands with the robust entrepreneurship in Indian textiles, apparel and consumer products industry and will open up opportunities for sourcing and investment in India. Shantmanu further elaborated that collaboration of India with Messe Frankfurt will help to develop long-term sustainable partnerships of Indian industry with the value chain in Germany and other countries.”

OP Prahladka, Chairman – EPCH said that it is a great opportunity for India to showcase its incomparable diversity, rich culture, tradition of arts and crafts at such a big platform like Ambiente. He further elaborated that this initiative will surely give major boost and quantum jump in the exports of handicrafts from the country as India for the first time is being projected at the main locations of Messe Frankfurt at Galleria, Theme trends pavilions. This will also further add to upgrade the Indian craft to the high end markets of the world.

Rakesh Kumar, Director General said that Germany is major market for the Indian products and hence Ambiente is an important marketing medium for Indian companies world over. India’s exports of handicrafts to the European Union was $761.26 mn in 2017-18 which is 21.30 per cent of total handicrafts exports registering a growth of 15 per cent in dollar terms over the previous period. The exports to this region have been on increase for past few years. Out of total handicrafts exports of the EU, Germany alone accounts for $176.43 mn. Focus on India at this fair will help in further boosting exports, said Rakesh Kumar, Director General of EPCH. EPCH is a nodal agency responsible for promotion of exports of handcrafted products from India to various global destinations and project India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier at competitive prices.