CHENNAI: In the light of the steep fall in leather exports last year, leather exporters feel that they cannot increase production levels without foreign investment.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 31st India International Leather Fair in Chennai on Sunday, Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports said, “It is true. We cannot substantially enhance our production levels without foreign investment. A country like Vietnam has been able to achieve an annual export value of about 14 billion on account of foreign investments. In fact foreign investments alone contribute about 77 per cent of export value to the Vietnamese leather sector.”
It may be recalled that leather exports till September 2015 had witnessed a huge slide of about 10 per cent.
Keeping this in mind, the Council for Leather Exports had organised investment promotion road shows in five major countries - namely Germany, USA, China, Brazil and Italy over the past two-and-a-half months. This has been done with the support of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India.
Reflecting on the results of the efforts, Ahmed added, “Some investors have already shown interest and I hope that we will be able to see some concrete projects taking shape in coming months, particularly from China and Brazil.”
Governor of Tamil Nadu K Rosaiah, who inaugurated the event spoke on the many milestones that the Indian Leather Industry has achieved since independence. “Even though the leather industry is now facing a decline in exports due to the ongoing recession in the major markets of Europe, it has significant growth potential both on the domestic and external fronts in the long run,” he said.