Leather industry aims to double export volume this year

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Chennai, Jan 30 (PTI) The leather industry has set an"ambitious" export target of USD 8.25 billion in the next 2-3years -- more than double the sales recorded last year.

The exports of leather and leather products have touchedUSD 3.40 billion in 2009-10. "We have set an ambitious targetof reaching USD 8.25 billion in 2013-14", Council for LeatherExports (CLE) Chairman M Rafeeque Ahmed told reporters.

"It is an achievable target. What we need is to increasethe present capacity. At least 60-70 per cent increase in thecapacity in the next three years is needed", he said.

Comparing India''s performance in the industry with China,Ahmed said India produced 5,000 to 7,000 pairs of leathershoes per day whereas China produced 30,000-50,000 pairs aday.

Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) ExecutiveDirector Neeraj Kumar Gupta said the leather industry in thecountry was constrained by lack of infrastructure.

If the goal to more than double the export volume in thenext 2-3 years was to be attained, Gupta said the industrywould require an additional five lakh employees in the sector.

He added that states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and WestBengal were keen on setting up integrated clusters for theleather industry.

Gupta and Ahmed were in the city ahead of the 26th IndiaInternational Leather Fair 2011 (IILF 2011) slated to beinaugurated tomorrow by Union Minister for Micro, Small andMedium Enterprises, Virbhadra Singh.

The "IILF 2011" is being organised by the ITPO. About 409companies from 20 countries are taking part in this three-dayevent, which will be held from February 1-3.

The leather products that will be on display includefinished leather, footwear and footwear components, fashionaccessories and chemicals for leather industry.

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