MUSCAT: The 11th regular session of the State Council discussed in detail on the proposal of the committee on Culture, Information and Tourism on ‘The Challenges of Handicraft Industries and Ways of Addressing Them’. The committee approved and decided to form a ‘Technical Drafting Committee’ to include the remarks of the members.
The session chaired by Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, Chairman of the Council, was held in the presence of the Council members and the Secretary-General of the Council.
Dr Mantheri opened the session with his speech at the opening of the session and welcomed the members.
He said it would be devoted to discussing the proposal submitted by the Committee of Culture, Information and Tourism on ‘Challenges facing traditional crafts and ways of addressing them.’
The member also elaborated the aims of the proposal which was primarily to face the most critical challenges faced by craft industries and derive solutions that help in solving them to help activate their role in the national economy.
He reviewed the objectives of the proposal, including review the legislation governing the traditional crafts, identify the policies and programmes implemented by the concerned parties in the handicraft industries.
They can also monitor the contribution of crafts industries to the gross domestic product and ways of enhancing it; the possibility of developing handicraft industries while maintaining their originality.
With respect to tourism activities, it aims to identify the role of the tourism sector in supporting the artisanal product, the efficiency and adequacy of the current marketing outlets, and the impact of the Counterfeit products on handicraft industries.
It also attempted to identify the extent of interest of the families of artisans and their children in the follow-up of the profession, ending with the proposals justification in the absence of adequate and organised legislation of traditional crafts and the need to develop them in the handicraft sector to the gross domestic product.
Also , the lack of current marketing outlets, the inefficiency of some of them in achieving the objectives, the increase of counterfeit products to the imported artisan industries, and the weakness of the local community in marketing the product.
The members also reviewed the committee’s suggestions, pointing out that they came in the form of policies and procedures to support their growth, as well as the possibility of developing them within the manufacturing industry.
These include: protecting Omani craftsmen from unequal competition, protecting Omani handicrafts, preventing the import of externally manufactured counterfeit products, and formulating a national strategy for the development and integration of handicraft industries in the industrial sectors, eliminating the administrative obstacles facing them.
The craft products facilitating licensing procedures, craft, and setting controls for the production and marketing of expatriate workers, build a production information base that sets priorities for investment in traditional crafts and encourages those wishing to join them, build a production information base that sets priorities for investment in traditional crafts and encourages those wishing to join them and innovative industries.
The Council members also appreciated the importance of enhancing the contribution of handicraft industries to the GDP.
The agenda of the meeting also included access of some reports pertaining to Council activities.