Zuraida (left) and Ong admiring a pumpkin-shaped crystal during the soft launch of Kuala Lumpur International Craft Festival 2016 at Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex. Looking on are Ecuador Ambassador Laura Raquel Donoso Gonzales (second from left) and Argentina Ambassador Manuel Balaguer Salas.
AFTER its success last year, Kuala Lumpur International Craft Festival (KLICF) is back for the second time from Nov 24 to 27.
The festival, themed “Crafts Unite People,” will see the participation of 450 entrepreneurs from 33 countries including Malaysia to promote and exhibit craftwork from their respective countries.
Among the countries that have agreed to participate in KLICF 2016 are Argentina, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Myanmar.
Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ong Hong Peng said KLICF was the platform for Malaysian craft entrepreneurs to share their experience and insights about the art with the international participants.
“This opportunity should be taken to increase the craft products and build our craft industry,” he said.
He added that the festival was beyond promoting our craft but also a catalyst in helping to place Malaysia as one of the main tourism destinations in the world.
Other than the handicraft sale, Dr Ong said there were local craft demonstration such as pua weaving, Golden Thread weaving and making of batik blocks.
“There will also be demonstrations for international craft throughout the festival from countries such as Ecuador, India, Thailand and Argentina,” he said.
Other highlights include live performances such as Mah Meri mask dance and dikir barat.
There will also be live performances from countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation director-general Zuraida Mokhtar said the event was expected to attract a bigger crowd of about 30,000 compared to last year’s 25,000.
“Last year, we achieved RM13mil in sales at the festival.
“We’re aiming for RM20mil for this year’s festival,” she said during a press conference.
She added that the organisers were expecting more foreign tourists at this upcoming festival.