V. M. KHALEELUR RAHMAN
The leather and leather products industry is happy that after peaceful conduct of the parliamentary election, a strong Congress-led UPA government has emerged at the Centre headed again by Dr. Manmohan Singh who is widely acknowledged as the architect of the economic reforms taking India to the world stage. He made it clear as soon as he assumed office for the second term that his government will revamp the global recession hit Indian economy with a stimulus package to boost the demand in the domestic market and also take necessary steps to push exports which declined by about 30% during the recent months.
The decline has not dampened the spirit of the people. They are on the march in the field of their activity and India is growing giving an impression to the world that it is a right place for trade and investment because of its well established units with understanding management, efficient staff and hard-working labour force. This is the reason why more and more overseas customers look to India for their requirements of leather, footwear, leather goods, garments etc.
It is hoped in the industrial circle that the future export and import policy will be industry- friendly, growth-oriented and based on the recommendations made by the Council for Leather Exports and other leading associations.
The unprecedented zoom in the share market by 2110 points in just a minute on the very first day of its opening after the recent parliamentary election results was really a spectacular happening never witnessed before in any share market anywhere in the world. It was a big salute of the people for the new government and a sort of self-confident proclamation that India is capable of facing any challenges and finding solutions to them.
NOIDA FAIR : ANOTHER MILESTONE IN THE LEATHER INDUSTRY
The APLF launched new leather and footwear sector fair – “ Footwear Materials, Manufacturing & Technology (FMM&T)” – in association with the Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA) and held from 8 to 10 May 2009 at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida, New Delhi, India was highly successful though attendance of visitors was limited despite good transport arrangements. The organizers rightly claimed it as the right fair, in the right place and at the right time and performed the vital role in bringing together all parties concerned in one place to know the latest trends and developments of the industry for mutual advantages. It was supported by the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Indian Shoe Federation (ISF) and Agra Footwear Manufacturers & Exports Chamber (AFMEC). International exhibitors from countries like China, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil, Spain etc. participated in it and showcased their products such as leather, shoes, handbags, saddlery, leather goods etc. They felt that the potential of India as a market has always been most attractive to them. Leading South Indian units were conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps it will not be the case next year.
The Spanish Tanners Association sees India as strategic for the Spanish Tanners as it is an important emerging market that seeks quality, creativity and expertise and hopes that the commercial relationship between the two countries will increase well in the days to come.
The APLF is of the opinion that the Indian economy is growing steadily even in the present recession period because of various reasons such as the increasing domestic consumption of footwear within the country and good demand from abroad.
The organizers, no doubt, did well in highlighting the importance of the enormous footwear manufacturing sector in India through this fair. We are sure that it will attract more and more participants from India and abroad next year and grow well year by year to the extent of the Hong Kong fair. We wish them all the best in all their endeavours.
( V. M. Khaleelur Rahman in Indian Leather, June 2009)