From the Desk of Chairman

Aqeel_Ahmed

CHAIRMAN SPEAKS

Dear Members,

It gives me immense pleasure to be in touch with all of you through CLE’s monthly magazine LEATHER NEWS INDIA.

The leather and footwear industry is proud to a major contributor to the nation’s development through its employment intensive production base, thereby empowering economically weaker sections of the society and also generating substantial foreign exchange earnings.

Growth Prospects

I firmly believe that our industry has the wherewithal to scale new heights in the coming years. There is no doubt that there are challenges in the global market but they are not insurmountable. This is proved by the recent global economy forecasts of International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has projected only 3.5% and 3.6% growth of global economy in 2019 and 2020 respectively, but has projected 7.5% and 7.7% growth for Indian economy, which is more than double the growth rate projected for global economy. India has recently moved-up the rankings in the “Ease of Doing Business” from 142 to 77 and will move-up further. The world is now looking at India and this focus on India gives us immense opportunities to grow, both on the export front and in the domestic market.

Focus in next two years

Our focus in the next two years will be to facilitate implementation of sustainable models of production, productivity ; greater focus on innovation, design and undertake aggressive and wide range of marketing activities to make further inroads into traditional and potential markets.

Solid platform has already been created in this regard through implementation of Rs.2600 crore Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) during 2017-20. This scheme has attracted huge response from the industry, with proposals/applications to the tune of Rs.1300 crore already firmed-up in just the first year of operation. From the CLE’s side, we will make all efforts for optimum utilization of the IFLADP scheme.

On the Policy front, we will take-up major issues with the Government namely lower tax rates and interest rates on credit, implementation of WTO compatible support measures, finalization of Free Trade Agreements with European Union, Canada, Australia etc.,

On the marketing front, CLE has proposed 17 Mega BSMs/ India Shows/ Reverse BSM/ Fair Participation during 2019-20, covering traditional and potential markets. Besides, we will continue our active engagement with various overseas industry and international associations and efforts will also be made to promote investments in to the industry.

There is no doubt that Substantial growth needs investment. I took part in the Investment Promotion show recently in China organized by DIPP and Invest india. The two investment promotion events in China attracted more than 250 Chinese entrepreneurs, who are very much interested to invest in India.

Leather Week 2019

We are starting with a bang with a series of new programmes planned during the India Leather Week 2019 at Chennai.

Leather Week 2019 will witness two major events of CLE namely Raw Material Sourcing Meet (Feb. 1, 2019) and Designers Fair (Feb. 1-3, 2019) . The Raw Material Sourcing meet will witness participation of more than 30 suppliers of leathers from 14 countries while Designers Fair 2019 will have largest ever contingent of more 43 design companies/institutions.

The added feature of Leather Week 2019 will be the EXECUTIVE FORUM on “Global Perspectives on Indian Footwear & Leather Accessories” on February 1, 2019 wherein industry leaders will deliberate on strategy to achieve further growth.

Besides, stake holders meeting on IFLADP on Feb. 1, 2019 and series of Seminars on February 1, 2019 are scheduled in Chennai as part of Leather Week 2019.

I firmly believe that the Indian leather and footwear industry has the potential to achieve 9% to 10% growth levels in the next two years, both in the domestic market and on the export front.

I am sure that with our concerted efforts and support of the Government, we will achieve this.

With best wishes

P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Chairman
COUNCIL FOR LEATHER EXPORTS