The Convention Center of Pernambuco, in the city of Olinda, Northeast Brazil, was transformed into a stage for handicrafts from around the world. From the end of last week, Fennearte, greatest handicrafts fair in Latin America, gathers 1,000 exhibitors from Brazil and another ten countries.
Egypt is part of the exhibit. Also Kenya, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Indonesia, Paraguay, Pakistan and Turkey show their work.
"Every year we try to bring new international exhibitors. They attract the public with their local handicrafts," stated the president of the Agency for Economic Development of Pernambuco (AD Diper), Guilherme Cavalcanti, one of the organizers of the fair.
Amongst the international products shown are decorative pieces like statues, crystals, typical clothes, vases, cushions and carpets. The majority of the exhibitors have already participated in previous editions and testify that foreign handicrafts please the public.
The prices of the pieces vary from R$ 1 (about US$ 0.46), like incense holders, to R$ 700 (US$ 318.70), like the Egyptian vases. In the Egyptian stand, for example, the importer Sharon Lynn already sold almost everything he took to the fair.
The exhibit, which started last Friday (7th of July), should generate more than US$ 7.28 million in business. The expectation is to attract 160,000 visitors, which will represent an increase of 4,000 people in relation to the previous edition.
As well as the ten participating countries, the fair counts on exhibitors from all Brazilian states. "This is the first time that we managed to gather exhibitors from around Brazil," said Cavalcanti.
According to him, 70% of the exhibitors are from the Northeast of Brazil. The artisans themselves stay in the stands. "Many producers are related to cooperatives and associations, others are at the show on their own. There is a bit of everything," stated Cavalcanti. The products exhibited vary from decoration objects and everyday utensils to lace and embroideries.
According to Cavalcanti, Fennearte was created in 2000 for the final consumer. However, it now became the main meeting point for shop owners and distributors. In the first edition, the fair counted on the participation of 600 exhibitors. Last year this number had increased to 1,831. "The fair is a great celebration of popular culture. For the artisan, in turn, it is a great opportunity as it opens doors for him to sell all year round," he said.
At Fennearte, exhibitors interested in exporting their products may count on an orientation stand "Learning to Export", which is supervised by the Agency for Economic Development in partnership with the Network of Foreign Trade Agents of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, with support from the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), the Brazilian Postal Services (Correios) and the Bank of Brazil.
According to Cavalcanti, there aren’t any official data on how much Brazil exports in handicrafts. "If a producer exports lace or embroidery, for example, it counts as sales of the textile industry, that’s why it is hard to calculate how much we export," he explained. However, Cavalcanti said that Brazilian handicraft is already exported to Europe and the United States.
In the first semester of 2006, the state of Pernambuco exported US$ 356 million, in all kinds of products, foodstuff, clothes, furniture, utensils, accessories and handicrafts, according to information from the MDIC. In 2005, the city that exported the most was Cabo de Santo Agostinho, followed by Recife (the state’s capital) and Petrolina.
Date: 7th to 16th of July
Venue: Conventions Center of Pernambuco
Time: From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Anba – www.anba.com.br