Facing stiff competition from Bangladesh and Vietnam on export of leather goods, the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), today said it was eyeing newer markets to boost the trade volume. “We export leather to various countries, with a majority of it to Europe.. We are facing stiff competition from Bangladesh, Vietnam.. Hence, we plan to focus on newer markets like United States, Russia,” CLE Chairman, Mukhtarul Amin told reporters here. Elaborating further, he said the Government of Bangladesh has set a target of USD 5 billion. “They have also announced cash assistance (incentive) on exports of leather products. Initiatives like these are a threat to our exports,” he said. CLE, represents the traders’ community. Vice-Chairman of CLE P R Aqeel Ahmed said about 50 leather traders would take part in a leather expo scheduled to be held in Moscow in March. “The focus is on newer markets like Russia, United States of America.. We are also discussing with Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) to enhance trade,” he said.
To a query, he said there was a proposal to tap markets in Central America, Africa apart from Russia and United States. Responding to another query, he said the leather exports which earlier recorded de-growth in the last four years have recorded a 1.48 per cent growth in the April-December 2017 period as compared to same period of last year. “Our aim is to register 10 per cent growth in the coming financial year (2018-19),” he said.
Top officials of Council for Leather Exports and Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) were here to announce the 33rd edition of three-day India International Leather Fair (IILF) scheduled to begin from February one in city. “This year we are expecting participation of more countries than previous years. The third edition of the designer fair will be conducted along with IILF this time,” Amin said. For the first time a raw material sourcing exhibition was also planned during the three-day meet, he said. “Raw material suppliers from various countries will be coming to take part in that event,” he added.