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Ponta Delgada ,  November 24, 2017

Craft companies grew more than 20% in the Azores

The number of craft companies has increased by more than 20 percent in the Azores since 2015. Currently, there are 543 production units registered in the Regional Centre for Handicrafts (CRAA).
"The Government of the Azores has adapted its programmes to support the development of handicrafts in order to increase the number of craft production units in the Region and improve the quality of handicrafts," said the Regional Director for Support to the Investment and Competitiveness.
Ricardo Medeiros spoke Thursday at the opening of the 5th Azores Handicrafts Festival - Prenda. He highlighted the support granted under the annual financial scheme of the Regional Centre for Handicrafts - SIDART, which intends to "support the professional activity of artisans and the economic development of companies."
These support measures cover several areas, namely marketing, promotion, training and investment in production structures and equipment.
"This year, a total of 247 projects were submitted under the incentive scheme, of which 142 were approved. They represent an overall investment of almost half a million Euros, which corresponds to a public financial contribution over 240 thousand Euros," said the Regional Director.
As for the last three years, Ricardo Medeiros pointed out "a significant increase in applications. Artisans have been investing in projects to improve their production units as well as in the improvement and innovation of their products."
PRENDA has "become a major event for the promotion and marketing of successful craft products. It has registered a significant adherence of the public and artisans in the low season of the year," added the government official.
According to Ricardo Medeiros, this is an initiative that "reveals the growing dynamics of an activity cherished by the Government of the Azores." In this regard, he stressed that "handicrafts are now acknowledged for their potential as a driving force in regional development at various levels; they have multiple direct and indirect impacts."
Since 2015, the event has featured 154 craft production units from different areas and 32 workshops for different audiences within the scope of the festival's programme, in addition to numerous entertainment and promotional activities.
This year, the Azores Handicrafts Festival runs until Sunday, November 26, at Pavilhão do Mar (Sea Pavilion) in Ponta Delgada, featuring more than fifty artisans and craft companies.
The 51 craft units participating in the event display and sell a wide variety of craft products: nativity scenes in "lapinha" (sea-themed nativity scenes), Christ of Miracles "registo" (representation), embroidery, fish scales, toys, basketry, lace, traditional confectionery, bamboo pieces, jewellery and figurative ceramics, among others.
This festival is the largest craft event of the year organised by CRAA, with special emphasis on the products certified under the collective brand "Azores Handicrafts." The latter has already certified more than 70 artisans.
Admission to PRENDA festival is free. It is open today and Friday from 6 to 11 PM, Saturday from 2 to 11 PM, and Sunday from 2 and 10 PM.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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