Iqbal Hamid Trust

International Symposium on Developing Pakistan’s Leather and Value Added Industries

Lahore, January 28, 2016: Jean-Francois Cautain, Honorable Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Pakistan, here on Thursday addressed an international symposium held in connection with Pakistan Mega Leather Show 2016. The event was arranged by the EU funded “Pakistan Leather Competitiveness Improvement Program PLCIP” under European Union’s Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme. The EU funded Programme PLCIP is working to improve the overall value chain in the leather sector of Pakistan.

“The leather sector is an important sector in Pakistan, due to its size on economic footprint, employment, and potential for value creation. Despite being an export earner, the leather sector has a small share in the global trade of value added goods and products. In the wake of the current incentives given by the EU, which includes the GSP+ status for Pakistan, the value added leather sector needs to seize the opportunity and further develop the sector to become an even greater export earner for Pakistan. Pakistan Mega Leather Show will help in improving confidence of international investors in leather sector” said H.E. Jean-François Cautain during his keynote speech at the ceremony. Jean-François Cautain also appreciated the efforts of organizers of Pakistan Mega Leather Show and distributed souvenir among the presidents of associations and the presenters of international symposium.

Speaking on the event, the Project Director of PLCIP, Usman H. Malik highlighted various activities envisioned under the program. He briefed the audience that the three-year PLCIP has been involved in supporting the leather product sector by focusing on improving productivity, shop floor management, export diversification and new market access. He highlighted that the Pakistani leather sector is a large export earner, with total exports of US$ 1,376 million in 2014. However, the sector is not keeping up with regional competitors, and the industry has difficulties coping with the changing demands of the international market. The assistance of the PLCIP will go a long way in providing technical training and knowhow to the Pakistani leather exporters to address the challenging needs of the international market.

Mr. Muhammad Musaddiq, Convener PMLS-2016, appreciated the support and assistance of European Union through PLCIP. He further added that The PMLS-2016 portrayed the positive image of Pakistan to the world. This event targeted the international buyers to come to Pakistan and to take benefit from the tremendous potential that exist in the leather sector of Pakistan. The PMLS – 2016 provided a unique platform for the Pakistani leather industry, including tanners, footwear manufacturers, leather garments and gloves manufacturers, chemical companies, and other vendors supplying equipment, machinery and components to the leather industry to display their products, and provide a single platform for the Pakistani leather industry. He encouraged the diplomatic community and donors to participate in this show and invite potential stake holders/buyers from their respective countries to visit the expo.

The event was attended by representatives of European Union, Foreign Missions, and various government officials from Ministry of Commerce and business community participating in the Pakistan Leather Show – 2016.

Representatives from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and international experts from Germany and Italy also spoke on the present and future trends of leather based industry, modern shoe manufacturing technology & business and leather cleaning and production.

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