4th Mega Leather Show to spark international interest

Leather sector exports accounted for 2.9 per cent of total exports despite unfavourable government policies

LAHORE: Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFNA) has announced that the 4th Mega Leather Show 2018 (PMLS-18) will be held at Lahore International Expo Centre here on January 27-29.

This was announced at a joint press conference by PFMA Chairman Farrukh Saleem, PFMA Senior Vice Chairman and convener PMLS-18 Abid Hafeez, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman Aman Ullah Aftab, PTA Senior Vice Chairman Mansoor Iqbal and Co-Convener PTA M Musaddique held at a local hotel in Lahore here on Thursday.

They said the show was the 2nd largest event of South Asia which would be inaugurated by Commerce Minister M Pervaiz Malik and Italian Ambassador for Pakistan Dr Stefano Ponteccorvo will be the chief guest at the event.

The Mega Show will be jointly orchestrated by four highly resourceful industrial associations including footwear, leather goods, tanneries, gloves and leather garments, they informed.

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PTA Chairman Aman Ullah Aftab said that the industry has created over a million jobs and has managed to add $ 918 million to the country’s exports in the last year. He also said that the main aim behind the show was to support exports, boost investor confidence and provide an international platform for local businesses.

While answering a question regarding international delegation from India, he praised and thanked the High Commission of Pakistan for their cooperation in issuing visas to all international delegations. “The PMLS-18 will attract potential buyers and investors from China, India, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Cyprus, USA, UAE, Spain and Tunisia,” he added.

He further added that although exports have increased however the value has declined amid falling international prices due to cheaper Chinese substitutes. He said that synthetic leather is becoming a challenge for the industry as more and more customers now prefer the inexpensive option.

To a question, PFMA Chairman Farrukh Saleem said that it is sad that government policies have been unfavourable for business over the last decade. While welcoming the announcement of rebate by the government, he said that the industry faces crucial challenges such as refunds and sales tax. Favourable policies will not only boost exports but will also improve the quality of products produced in Pakistan, he added.

Moreover, a foreign exhibitor present at the event told Pakistan Today that this event offers excellent opportunities for the leather industry to showcase its products to the world. He added that despite attending the Mega Leather Show twice, his company has only managed to obtain only one client. “Our products are for a niche clientele due to being expensive but they offer a high-quality finish and currently Pakistan lacks that audience. Pakistani market should follow international trends and adapt to international standards for value-added exports. I am sure this year would bring more success than the last two.”

The show is likely to attract 10,000 visitors daily and 10 international designers and fashion journalists.

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Eleazar Bhatti
Eleazar Bhatti
The writer currently serves as the Content Manager at Profit by Pakistan Today and is an economics graduate from Leeds Business School in the UK. He can be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/eleazarbhatti.
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