Promotion of handicrafts in the ECO region through trade and cultural programs was discussed at a meeting held on August 3, 2015 in Niavaran Cultural complex attended by officials of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Secretariat of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), ambassadors and cultural attachés of ECO Member States, ECO Cultural Institute.
At the meeting, Mr. Iftikhar husain Arif, President of ECO Cultural Institute, referring to profound, multidimensional and millennia cultural and civilizational commonalities, called handicrafts the symbol of common culture and arts of the region. Emphasizing on cultural impacts of promoting handicrafts on new generation's knowledge in this regard, he extended proposals such as organizing regional and international organizations, workshops, conducting researches and publishing the outcomes. He also briefed the meeting on ECI activities in the past to promote handicrafts in ECO region, including regular exhibitions of handicrafts of ECO Member states, the 1st ECO Handicrafts Exhibition, held in September 2011 in Bojnourd, North Khorasan Province, exhibition of Iranian Antique Handicrafts in April 2014 in the Institute's Headquarters, publishing scholarly articles in its publications and so on. He declared that the Institute is willing to cooperate with all the ECO Member States in this regard.
"Handicrafts, besides being a source of income, exhibit their creator's genius; artists who reveal parts of divine beauty" said H.E. Dr. Soltanifar, Honorable Vice-President and the Head of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization, during the meeting.
"If crafts producers in ECO region develop their integration, they can play a significant role in their countries economy. Our organization is willing to extend cooperation in this regard to strengthen cultural and economic ties among ECO countries "he added.
Underlining the importance of handicrafts, he stated: "crafts production, besides being effective in economy, provides an opportunity for artists to exhibit their genius and talents and transfer cultural values of their countries through trade of crafts."
Also present at the meeting were Dr. Jalaleddin Alavi, ECO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Namvar Motlagh, Deputy Head of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization for Handicrafts and Traditional Arts, Dr. Mohammad Reza Haji Karim Jabbari, Executive Director of ECO Cultural Institute, H.E. Mr. Javanshir Akhundov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Abolfazl Alikhani, Head of ECO Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and representatives of the ECO Member States in Tehran who made proposals for expanding cooperation to promote handicrafts in the ECO region.