Dominican Republic handicraft artisans visit Colombia to learn new skills

24 January 2012
ITC News

Last month, Artesanías de Colombia welcomed an ITC-led delegation from the Dominican Republic seeking information about the Colombian model that would help enhance the island-nation's handcrafts industry. Presentations on Artesanías de Colombia´s value-chain development model, commercialisation strategies and event organisation were followed by a guided visit to Expoartesanías - Artesanías de Colombia's flagship commercial event. The mission underscored the importance of continued investment in the industry as a means of tackling poverty and promoting gender equality, said René Alarcón, ITC's Senior Trade Promotion Officer, who is based at ITC's Mexico office and led the 14-18 December mission to Bogotá.

“The handcrafts sector in the Dominican Republic needs a strong organisation to manage it with a business-oriented focus, which should lead the sector to take better advantage of existing commercial opportunities, such as tourism,” Alarcón said, adding that ITC now plans to develop a project proposal outlining how the Dominican Republic can bolster its handcraft industry.

The delegation consisted of two representatives from the Dominican Republic's Office of the First Lady (OFL-DR), which has trained and worked with 500 craftsmen using materials such as coconut shell, clay, leather, amber stone, natural fibers and marble. Another delegate in attendance came from the country's Dirección General de Cooperación Multilateral (DIGECOOM).