$8.25 billion exports by 2014 achievable: leather exporters

January 30th, 2011 - 10:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) India’s leather exporters are confident of achieving the ambitious export target of $8.25 billion by 2013-14 from the current level of $3.4 billion even if the European Union scraps the anti-dumping duty levied on Chinese and Vietnamese shoes, said a top industry official.”The $8.25 billion export target is ambitious and is achievable even if the EU scraps the 16.5 percent and 10 percent anti-dumping duty on the shoes imported from China and Vietnam respectively. India’s share in the global leather trade is less than three percent whereas for China it is 22 percent,” Council for Leather Exports (CLE) chairman Rafeeque Ahmed told reporters here.

Noting large importers in Europe and in the US are now looking at reducing their exposure to China, he said a ten percent shift in demand from China to India would give enough volume for the Indian industry.

However, Ahmed also urged the government to also play a key role in facilitating the industry to achieve that growth including notifying mega leather clusters, continuation of the existing tax concessions for two more years and the Integrated Development of Leather Sector Scheme - providing a grant for upgrading technology/modernisation and capacity creation during the 12th Plan Period.

About the 26th India International Leather Fair (IILF) to be held Jan 31-Feb 3 here he said: “The event will be largest covering around 9,000 square metres of exhibition space up from 8,400 square metres of last year. Around 410 companies will be showcasing their products/services of which 129 are from 20 overseas countries.”

There will be country pavilions of Italy and Thailand and the fair is expected to draw over 1,500 business visitors from Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asian countries.

The products/services on the display would include finished leather, footwear, footwear components, leather goods, garments, fashion accessories, machinery and equipment, chemicals, publications and consultancy services.

“In the recent years leather fairs overseas are shrinking in size, whereas in India, they are growing which proves the business shift to India,” Ahmed said.

He said the export of leather and leather products for the first nine months of the current fiscal touched $2.5 billion as against $2.2 billion logged during April-December 2009.

The fair will be inaugurated Monday by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Virbhadra Singh at the Chennai Trade Centre, and Water Affairs and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will also be present.

The event is organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in collaboration with CLE.

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