Leather Fair Opens Today

Chennai, Jan 30: | Updated: Jan 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
Curtains will rise for the 19th India International Leather Fair (IILF) here on Saturday in an ambience of allround vibrancy and expectation. The fair has over 250 participants, 51 of them from 15 countries. Of these 39 are from Italy alone.

The fair, being organised by the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), has the largest space booking and that too well in advance, Mr S Raghavan, general manager of ITPO said here on Friday. The increased number of foreign participants, display of the new trends and fashions and technologies and the manifest vigour and vitality among the Indian and foreign participants would be the unique features of IILF 2004, he said.

Mr Habib Hussain, regional chairman, south, CLE, said that this would be an important year for Indian leather industry with the world's largest retailers and manufacturers turning to India with serious intentions of purchase, participation and joint ventures.

CLE executive director, Mr S Audiseshiah said the liberalised investment climate in the country has been showing results. ``Joint ventures are in place for shoe components with leading companies like Forward Group, Tata International and Saba Group. Forward has also announced its finished leather joint venture. More joint ventures could be finalised during the fair and in the months to come,'' he said.

CLE has also planned a buyer-seller meet with buyers from Latin American countries and Africa.

Union minister of state for commerce and industry S B Mookherjee would inaugurate the fair.