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Posted on Jan 16, 10:07PM | UNI
Kerala's coir industry is looking to expand its global reach by exploring vast opportunities in Latin America and Africa, which are home to some of the world's fastest growing economies.
The third edition of Coir Kerala, the world's largest expo on coir and natural fibre products, hosted by the state government, has had unprecedented levels of buyer interest from emerging markets in Latin America and the African continent.
Around 150 buyers from 60 countries have registered for the event which will be organised in Alappuzha from February 1 to 6.
The numbers are have nearly doubled from last year when 78 representatives from 34 nations attended.
'It is heartening to see Coir Kerala draw more and more international delegates every year,' Minister for Revenue and Coir Adoor Prakash.
'For coir manufacturers in the state, especially for the smaller units, this is a chance to interact directly with buyers from countries they may not otherwise have a chance to explore for exports,' he said.
South Africa is sending one of the biggest delegations to Coir Kerala 2013 with 14 buyers, higher even than the traditionally strong markets for Kerala's coir products such as the US, China, the UK, Canada, and Germany. Other African countries represented at the fair include Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
'Indian industries have been quick to realise the potential of Africa as a market for manufactured goods. As the biggest producer of coir in the country, Kerala has a golden opportunity to capitalise on the increasing demand in African and Latin American nations for both coir fibre and finished products,' according to Ms Rani George, Secretary, Department of Coir.
Coir Kerala 2013 has also attracted buyers from Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, some of whom will be attending the trade fair for the first time.