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Great times ahead for Indian leather sector: CLE Chairman Aqeel
2019/2/1 10:48:31 Source: newstodaynet.com Author:by M Bhaskar Sai 点击率:
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Chennai: The Council for Leather Exports (CLE), a trade promotion organisation under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is to work towards expanding the reach of the Indian leather industry and has lined up many initiatives to achieve the mission. It has drawn plans to hold at least 10 major roadshows to showcase India’s potential as well to pitch an alternative destination for China across the world.

P R Aqeel Ahmed, who recently took over as the chairman of CLE, is upbeat about the sector’s growth. One of the major foreign exchange earners for the country, the industry is the world’s second largest producer of footwear and exporter of leather garments.

Ahead of the 34th India International Leather Fair (IILF) & India Leather Week, Aqeel spoke to News Today about CLE’s plans for the industry’s growth and more.

“I don’t want to be dependent on one country or continent. CLE will work towards expanding the reach of Indian leather industry and we have lined up many initiatives to achieve the mission. We have immense support from the Central government. The IILF in Chennai will attract stakeholders from across the world. I must also laud the Tamilnadu government for the recently-concluded Global Investors Meet,” says Aqeel.

According to him, various events will be conducted from April to December this year in which delegates from France, Italy, Germany, Japan, United States, China, Vietnam and other countries will participate. CLE has drawn plans to hold at least 10 major roadshows to showcase India’s potential as well to pitch an alternative destination for China across the world. The council is also in constant touch with major global importers to increase their sourcing and has been receiving positive response.

The industry has decided to woo customers with new designs, products, including wallets, auto leather goods, handbags and leather garments apart from footwear. He says the focus on the US will increase due to the ongoing trade war between America and China. ‘This is a huge opportunity which India should seize. And we are hopeful of doing it,’ he adds.

The industry employs about 4.4 million people, 30 per cent of whom are women. Aqeel states that the sector is expected to grow five to six per cent during this year in rupee terms but has the potential to achieve higher growth levels in the coming years.

“We are thankful to the Union government and Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu. The Government of India has taken a number of measures for overall growth and development of the sector, including implementation of Rs 2,600 crore Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) and providing financial assistance in key areas like capacity expansion and technological upgradation of production units, skill development and employment generation, environment management, etc.”

On IILF, he says the fair, which is one of Asia’s largest, will bring to the city over 450 companies and 10,000 visitors from different countries. ‘It will generate business in huge volumes,’ says Aqeel, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Florence Shoe Company, based in Chennai.

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