The annual domestic market for handicrafts has grown to Tk7,500 crore and exports of such items rose 48% amid the pandemic between July and December 2020 compared to the corresponding period the previous year.
Ninety-two organisations export their goods worth $20 million a year to different countries, according to Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Banglacraft).
As many as 485 handicrafts manufacturers and exporters are associated with the association.
Golam Ahsan, president of Banglacraft, said, "Our organisations make all products from locally available raw materials. We advise on how to market products in the local and foreign markets and provide support in product designing and training for skill development."
While other businesses had negative growth in the pandemic, the handicraft sector watched a remarkable rise in export, he said, attributing the success to the efforts to protect the local essence of the products.
Banglacraft launched a five-day fair on Wednesday to highlight the progress made by the sector at its office in the capital's Panthapath on the occasion of Bangabandhu's 100th birth anniversary.
Organisers said 200 items were showcased in the fare.
Handicrafts have been playing an important role in upholding heritage and culture and at the same time in eliminating poverty since the 1970s. Hundreds and thousands of artisans at the grassroots are involved in making handicrafts and they make a living out of these.
Organisers of the fare think they will be able to introduce their products to customers of different economic status.
Banglacraft was founded in 1979. Since then, it has been working with manufacturers, exporters, businessmen, designers and promoters tied to handicraft business.