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Artisans to show wares in Lyon

THE Artisans Association of Cambodia (AAC) is hoping to boost exports of Cambodian handicrafts when it attends a fair trade exhibition in Lyon, France early next month, a member said Wednesday.

AAC Executive Director Men Sinoeun said a four-person delegation would attend the second European Fair Trade Fair, which will run for three days in France from October 2.

“We hope that our participation at the trade exhibition will help Cambodian handicrafts gain in popularity in international markets,” he said.
The delegation, which is due to leave Cambodia on Tuesday, will show a range of handmade products, including bags, scarves and silver jewellery.

Cambodian handicrafts are currently sold in around 10 countries worldwide, including the United States, Japan and countries in Europe, but Men Sinoeun said orders tended to be small. The delegation was looking for wholesale buyers, he said.

“We do not want to only retail our products to international markets, we are looking at the possibility of finding new wholesale partners.”

The association, which works directly with more than 42 social enterprises across the country, exported US$2.7 million worth of silk products abroad last year, though Men Sinoeun said Monday he expected exports to be worth just $2 million this year.

Ministry of Commerce Secretary of State Chan Nora said it was a positive step for the association to actively seek new markets.

“I think that this trade exhibition will help bring Khmer handicrafts to an international market and boost sales of the products from previous years,” he said.

The association also plans to visit a trade fair in Tokyo, Japan, starting November 15.

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