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Ponta Delgada ,  November 24, 2016

Craft companies grew 45% in the Azores in the last the four years

The Vice-President of the Government stated in Ponta Delgada the "dynamics" of handicrafts as economic activity in the Azores, revealing that "there was a 45% increase" in the number of craft companies in just four years.
"Currently, there are 518 registered craft production units in the Azores, while there was only 359 in 2012," stressed Sérgio Ávila. He spoke at the opening of the 4th Azores Crafts Festival - PRENDA, which runs until Sunday at the Sea Pavilion.
For the Vice-President, "this significant increase, over 159 companies in just four years, reveals the entrepreneurial and self-employment capacity of artisans and the potential for the creation of new jobs," seizing "new business opportunities brought by the increase of tourism flows."
The "growing" dynamics of this activity is being "encouraged and supported by the Government of the Azores," namely through "several actions, projects and craft promotion campaigns, as a typical tourism product from the Azores."
"As a measure to support the sustainability of craft companies, the Government created the Incentive Scheme for the Development of Handicrafts, designated as SidArt," added the official. According to him, "only in the course of this year and, to date, the Government supported 130 projects, "representing a global investment of 374 thousand Euros.
Sérgio Ávila also announced that the Regional Centre for Handicrafts (CRAA) "will be part of the Azores Business Incubators Network, implementing a thematic business incubator."
"We intend to promote local-based craft companies, included in community-oriented plans at an island level, from a perspective of boosting competitiveness and marketing of quality traditional Azorean products.
"Handicrafts are today - in addition to the preservation of our collective and cultural memory as a people and of an art form on constant innovation - an increasingly attractive economic activity," said Sérgio Ávila. In this regard, he also noted the contribution to the maintenance of populations and young people on all islands.
More than fifty craft production units will be featured at the Azores Crafts Festival from today until Sunday. This year registers the largest number of participants in the four editions of this initiative.
With free admission, PRENDA is a platform of excellence for the promotion of regional development, local culture and the sale of traditional and contemporary Azorean handicrafts.
In addition to the exhibition component, the festival programme also includes workshops, musical performances and puppet theatre.
The 52 companies featured at the event display products made using different materials techniques: knitwear, wooden miniatures, sackcloth, cork, jewellery, basketry, pottery, fish scale, embroidery and ceramics.
At the event, artisans will also demonstrate the art of working glass, leather, iron, tin as well as the making of cloth doll, lace and traditional sweets.
Nativity scenes in "lapinha" (sea-themed nativity scene) will be highlighted in the exhibition. This is a traditional art form from the island of São Miguel, which dates back to the 16th century.
The festival will also feature a Tea Time, organised in partnership with several regional companies, where visitors will have the opportunity to taste teas and the traditional flavours of Azorean confectionery.
Visitors are also entitled to participate in the daily draw of basket containing handmade products.
PRENDA is open to the public today until 11 PM; Friday from 6 PM to 11 PM; Saturday between 2 PM and 11 PM; Sunday from 2 PM to 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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