Muscat: During the first decade of the establishment of the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI), the Omani handicrafts sector witnessed a record growth in various areas, as per the Royal vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to maintain traditions of craftsmanship and enhance self-motivation in this sector.
The PACI report affirmed that the Omani artisan sector witnessed remarkable development in various fields of training and productivity, as PACI sought to promote the artisan sector through consolidation of operational plans and programmes approved in the areas of craft industries and documented all craft industries, raw materials and their utilisation.
The report pointed out that the Sultanate, represented by PACI, was selected for the position of Vice President of the World Crafts Council-Asia-Pacific Region on the basis of the PACI's contribution towards the advancement of the artisan sector and efforts to strengthen international joint action in the areas of protection and development of craft industries.
The report said that the Sultanate was highly appreciated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
'Muscat Declaration', which was a summary of what all the states had adopted during the international symposium on Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development in Muscat, is one of the most important projects based on international consensus with reference to the International Registry for the protection of craft industries, initiated by the Sultanate, endeavouring to ensure mainstream approval at a global level.
The report affirmed that the Sultanate, represented by PACI, in cooperation with WIPO, signed the technical cooperation programme, in addition to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation between PACI and a number of states in various craft fields.
The report highlighted the increasing numbers of craft permission issued during the period from January 1 to the end of June, which was about 1,235 craft licenses.
The report also cites statistics which show that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are able to contribute better in the local markets while PACI supports and sponsors the Omani artisan projects. The craft projects are classified as falling in the SMEs category.
PACI backs initiatives, including providing modern craft-related equipment to artisans, helping in marketing efforts and promoting outstanding craftsmen, ensuring that their work is showcased through local, regional and international exhibitions.
PACI also seeks to settle craftsmen locally by developing crafts in the wilayats where specialised directorates for craft industries have been established in the governorates to ensure training facilities and production centres.
The report added that PACI pays particular attention to marketing traditional craft industries.
The Omani Craft Houses are one of the most important outlets for marketing and promoting Omani crafts for economic diversification.