The State News Agency Antara reports Balinese handicrafts reaped foreign exchange earnings worth US$200.66 million in 2013.
“The income in foreign exchange declined slightly from 2012 when handicrafts earned US$202.6 million,” said the official spokesman for the Province of Bali, I Ketut Teneng.
Despite this slight decline, said Teneng, handicrafts continue to play a strategic role in bolstering exports from Bali and represent an important source of income for Bali’s more remote areas.
“Small scale handicrafts made by skilled villagers in Bali contributed 41.23% of Bali’s total exports that were worth US$486.96 million, an increase of 0.88% when compared to Bali’s export economy in 2013 worth US$481.83 million,” explained Teneng.
In calculating exports from handicraft, the province of Bali counts sales of 17 separate handicraft products. The types of handicraft products leading the sector are statues and souvenirs estimated to have a combined annual worth of US$90.61 million
Furniture constitutes US$28.17 million, silverworks US$23.73 million, metal items US$11.22 million and leather items US$9.22 million.
Other export items include musical instruments, matting, stone ornaments, ceramics, shell-based items, candle works and bone ware.
Teneng underlined the importance of the handicraft sector for export earnings in Bali, pointing to the lack of natural resources on the island that might otherwise form a source much-needed foreign exchange.
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