As you all know, the leather industry creates “Wealth from Waste” as it produces huge value added products from hides and skins, which are a by-product of the meat industry. Also, leather is unique because it is fashionable and durable. Hence, I have no doubt about the immense opportunities available for the leather industry to significantly enhance its share in the global market.
Though Europe has been our traditional market, we have made huge penetrations in recent years in the US market and also in potential markets like Japan, Russia, Africa and Latin American countries. Efforts will be made to further enhance our share in these markets through active engagement with the industry associations and through market promotion programmes.
Besides this, efforts are being made to promote investments in the industry. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the Investment Road Shows organized by Invest India in China (Guangzhou and Jinjiang) during December 26-28, 2018 with the focus on Leather & Footwear sector. These Shows were attended by more than 250 persons which reflects the huge interest among Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Indian leather and footwear industry.
Initiatives are being taken by CLE to further augment the raw material base by organizing a Raw Material Sourcing meet in Chennai (Feb. 1, 2019) wherein about 30 suppliers of hides, skins and leathers from 13 countries will be presenting their range of leathers to Indian manufacturers and exporters. Besides, CLE is organizing a Designers Fair in Chennai during Feb. 1, 3, 2019 wherein about 44 designers from 9 countries will be presenting their design prototypes.
The industry is expecting 5% to 6% growth in exports during this year (2018-19) in Rupee terms but the industry has the potential to achieve higher growth levels in the coming years.