Saturday, May 18, 2024

Celebrating Heritage and Empowering Communities: The Geographical Indications Exhibition and Conference in Kashmir


Three-day GI Products Exhibition and Conference Commences in Kashmir to Celebrate Heritage and Empower Communities

Kashmir has become the focal point of a significant cultural and economic event as it hosts the three-day Geographical Indications (GI) Mahotsav. The event, a brainchild of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and supported by the Office of the Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), embarked on its journey to celebrate the rich heritage of India’s GI products and their unique contributions to culture, society, and the economy.

The GI Mahotsav is more than just an exhibition; it represents a convergence of innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development, aiming to foster collaboration and growth across borders.

Distinguished attendees and organizers shared their insights and ambitions for the event and for GI products at large. Vijay Kumar Biduri, IAS, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, reflected on the government’s resolve to assist local manufacturers and MSMEs. He stressed the importance of engagement between industry stakeholders and the government for effective support throughout their entrepreneurial journeys. “The government is ready to take meaningful steps to empower Kashmir’s local manufacturers and the MSME sector,” Biduri remarked, signaling a commitment to uplift the business landscape in Kashmir.

Trademark and GI-tagged products are pivotal in establishing trust and credibility among businesses, particularly for smaller ventures aiming to secure a loyal customer base. Biduri also pointed out the necessity of educating tourists about GI products, highlighting their role in boosting the local economy and promoting sustainable tourism.

Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Director of Handicrafts and Handloom in Kashmir, lauded the efforts of PHDCCI in organizing the GI Mahotsav. He emphasized how GI tagging safeguards cultural identities and fosters trust through quality assurance among consumers and sellers. Er Saheel Yaqoob Allaqaband, Assistant Director, MSME DFO Srinagar, outlined the Ministry of MSME’s initiatives in offering marketing support to artisans and manufacturers, allowing them to gain exposure in domestic and international markets. He particularly stressed the significance of trademarks and intellectual property rights (IPR) in empowering smaller businesses to safeguard their brand and thrive in competitive environments.

Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, Director of Sericulture in Kashmir, heralded GI tagging as an invaluable tool for preserving and promoting the region’s cultural treasures, such as Kashmir Silk. He noted that GI tagging not only assures customers of authenticity and quality but also ensures that production maintains consistent standards.

Vicky Shaw, Chair of the Kashmir State Chapter, PHDCCI, thanked the Ministry of MSME for providing the platform for the GI Mahotsav, uniting artisans and manufacturers from across India in Kashmir. He underscored the economic necessity of protecting and promoting GI products in today’s globalized marketplace.

D P Goel, Chair of the MSME Committee at PHDCCI, reiterated the chamber’s dedication to cultivating the GI ecosystem in India. He highlighted how collaborative efforts are instrumental in achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Himayu Wani, Co-Chair of the Kashmir State Chapter, PHDCCI, stressed the importance of the GI Mahotsav in interlinking tradition with modernity. The event showcases the adaptability of GI products to contemporary markets, while still preserving their authentic essence.

As the first day of the GI Mahotsav concluded, there was an evident sense of excitement and determination among participants to further the growth and recognition of GI products nationally and internationally, propelling forward an agenda of heritage celebration and community empowerment.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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