In­dia | In­ter­na­tional | SQ. ft.

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

Aqeel Ahmed, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the panel dis­cus­sions stated that un­der the able lead­er­ship of the Hon’ble prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, the whole Coun­try is trans­form­ing. The Govt. Of In­dia had taken a very strong mea­sure few months ear­lier i.e. De­mon­e­ti­za­tion of high value notes in or­der to erad­i­cate black money from the econ­omy for en­sur­ing its sta­ble and speedy growth.

FDRA or­ga­nized a full day ‘Footwear sourc­ing In­tel­li­gence sum­mit’ on 25th July 2017 in the new York stock ex­change, Wall street. The sum­mit dis­cussed a num­ber of is­sues i.e. Global footwear sourc­ing, sup­ply chain and fac­tory com­pli­ance is­sues and trends. The event fea­tured spe­cial key­notes from in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives as well as pan­els cov­er­ing spe­cific coun­tries fea­tur­ing in­dus­try di­rec­tors and ex­perts.

Vice Chair­man CLE Aqeel Ahmed, shared in­ter­est­ing views on a panel dis­cus­sion “Growth out­side China & Viet­nam: a dis­cus­sion on sourc­ing, Com­pli­ance & sup­ply Chains in Mex­ico, In­dia, Cam­bo­dia & Bangladesh’ mod­er­ated by Matt priest, pres­i­dent & CEO OF FDRA. The other pan­elists at the ses­sion were Gen­eral Al­varo Bal­to­dano, Min­is­ter, pres­i­den­tial del­e­gate for In­vest­ment, Nicaragua, San­ti­ago de Mucha Men­di­ola, Vice pres­i­dent of In­ter­na­tional trade, Mex­i­can Footwear Cham­ber and Jeff Mc Cauley, Vice pres­i­dent of Global ac­counts, In­te­gra­tion point.

The prom­i­nent sum­mit par­tic­i­pants were; Keen, Nike, Caleres, Tar­get, Wolver­ine World­wide, Aldo, Red­wing, To­pline/steve Mad­den, For­tune Footwear, Anne Klein, Sg Footwear, Tim­ber­land, Sears, and many more! Cle was a spon­sor of the sum­mit among spon­sors viz. Tuv Sud, BSI, Apex Lo­gis­tics, Sapica, Far­row, Wolver­ine World­wide.

Aqeel Ahmed said, “Govt. Of In­dia is giv­ing ut­most im­por­tance to the leather sec­tor and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a ‘spe­cial pack­age’ for the over­all de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try is in the pipe­line. The mea­sures like cre­ation of Mega Leather Clus­ters with a siz­able Govt. Fund­ing sup­port will def­i­nitely go on to change the face of our In­dus­try in the com­ing years.” He added, “In­tro­duc­tion of the new tax regime, ‘Goods & ser­vice tax” was yet an­other mea­sure im­ple­mented by the Govt. Of In­dia, for en­sur­ing the over­all progress of the Coun­try.”

Aqeel Ahmed stated that a ‘new’ and ‘en­er­getic’ In­dia is in the mak­ing un­der the reins of the cur­rent Go and re­lated prod­ucts, Vice-chair­man, CLE in­formed that only 10% of the In­dia’s footwear pro­duc­tion is ex­ported and the re­main­ing 90% is con­sumed in the do­mes­tic mar­ket it­self. The non Leather Footwear In­dus­try in In­dia is also steadily grow­ing. He shared his views on ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme and said, “Leather is among the prod­uct sec­tors iden­ti­fied un­der this pro­gramme for pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing in the sec­tor.”

He touched upon dig­i­tal In­dia, avail­abil­ity of skilled man­power etc., in the speech. The Leather In­dus­try in In­dia has changed dras­ti­cally over the years. From the fam­ily run busi­ness, the In­dus­try has now started op­er­at­ing like big cor­po­rate

And multi­na­tional com­pa­nies. Other pan­elists shared the sta­tus of the Footwear In­dus­try in their re­spec­tive Coun­tries, mea­sures adopted by their Gov­ern­ments for de­vel­op­ment of the sec­tor.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion raised by Matt priest re­gard­ing the cur­rent ex­port sce­nario and lat­est de­vel­op­ments taken place in the In­dus­try, Aqeel Ahmed, stated that nearly 56% of the In­dia’s ex­port of leather and leather prod­ucts, in­clud­ing footwear are go­ing to Euro­pean Coun­tries. How­ever, In­dia’s ex­port to USA has sub­stan­tially in­creased over the years. As fo­cused by the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, CLE is un­der­tak­ing ex­port pro­mo­tion ini­tia­tives to ex­plore the new and po­ten­tial mar­kets. In this di­rec­tion, he ad­vised on the ex­port pro­mo­tion ac­tiv­i­ties planned by the CLE in the Latin Amer­ica and also in the African Coun­tries. He ap­prised about the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of the Footwear de­sign & de­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute (FDD I) as an in­sti­tu­tion of ‘na­tional Im­por­tance’ and Both the Houses of par­lia­ment of In­dia in this re­gard had re­cently cleared a Bill. The train­ing and test­ing In­sti­tutes like FDD I, CLRI, CFTI, NIFT etc. Has played a very im­por­tant role in im­prov­ing the de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the in­dus­try and also for pro­vid­ing skill man­power. He ap­praised the house about the Leather sec­tor skill Coun­cil (LSS C) and its role in im­part­ing train­ing to the young work­force in In­dia. While talk­ing about the im­por­tance of ‘so­cial Com­pli­ance’, the Vice- Chair­man, CLE in­formed the gath­er­ing that In­dian Leather and Footwear In­dus­try is well ac­quainted with the en­vi­ron­men­tal norms and fol­low­ing strictly the norms for so­cial Com­pli­ance as per in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

While talk­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Pu­ran Dawar, Re­gional Chair­man-north, CLE said that in the last FDRA Sum­mit also he had raised a ques­tion that what is prompt­ing the Amer­i­can Com­pa­nies not to source from In­dia; the an­swer was; ‘ab­sence of Skill’ Dawar clar­i­fied that Skill is not an is­sue in our In­dus­try now and the sec­tor has changed to the level akin to the cor­po­rate in­dus­try.

Founded in 1944, FDRA rep­re­sents the en­tire footwear in­dus­try from small fam­ily owned footwear busi­nesses to global footwear com­pa­nies. It also serves the full sup­ply chain of the footwear in­dus­try from re­search, de­sign and de­vel­op­ment, to man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion, to re­tail­ers sell­ing to global con­sumers. In all, FDRA sup­ports over 130 com­pa­nies and 250 brands, or 80% of to­tal U.S. footwear sales, mak­ing it the largest and most re­spected Amer­i­can footwear trade as­so­ci­a­tion. In the 70-plus year his­tory of the as­so­ci­a­tion, FDRA has sup­ported the footwear in­dus­try as its busi­ness in­tel­li­gence hub and voice in Wash­ing­ton, DC and around the globe.

Ja­panese econ­omy is re­ported to be re­cov­er­ing very strongly and In­dia has signed the Indo-ja­pan Pref­er­en­tial Trade Agree­ment, un­der which im­port du­ties for cer­tain cat­e­gories of Leather Prod­ucts & Footwear will be re­duced and ex­porters may take ad­van­tage of this more fa­vor­able sit­u­a­tion to make in­roads into the Ja­panese mar­ket. Fash­ion World Tokyo is the best plat­form to ex­pand busi­ness in Ja­pan. FASH­ION WORLD TOKYO would at­tract 30,000 vis­i­tors in its Oc­to­ber 2017 edi­tion, which is sched­uled on Oc­to­ber 11-13, 2017 Tokyo Big Sight, Ari­ake Bay, Tokyo. In­dia’s ex­port of leather & leather prod­ucts to Ja­pan has been in­creas­ing in re­cent years and touched US $ 63.97 mil­lion in 2016-17. How­ever, Ja­pan’s to­tal im­port of leather & leather prod­ucts was about US $ 7986.77 Mil­lion dur­ing 2016; Footwear be­ing the ma­jor item with im­ports at about US $ 5160.58 Mil­lion.. in 2016 How­ever, In­dia’s ex­port of Footwear to Ja­pan was only US  $ 36.79 Mil­lion in 2016-17.S im­i­larly, although the im­port of Leather Goods into Ja­pan was US $ 2259.10 Mil­lion (2016), In­dia’s ex­port of Leather Goods to Ja­pan was only US $ 18.07 mil­lion (2016-17). Hence there ex­ists con­sid­er­able op­por­tu­ni­ties to fur­ther in­crease In­dia’s ex­port of Footwear and Leather prod­ucts to Ja­pan. In the last edi­tion of the Fash­ion world tokyo, Novem­ber 2016 there were ex­hibitors from 37 coun­tries from Italy, por­tu­gal, brazil, Mex­ico, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thai­land, Viet­nam, Korea, Hong Kong, Rus­sia, Malasiya, Repub­lic of Trinidad and to­bogo, France, united King­dom, Switzer­land, Aus­tralia Mon­go­lia, spain, Ger­man, In­dia, Canada Den­mark, Tai­wan, Fin­land etc.the Coun­cil for Leather Ex­ports has planned to par­tic­i­pate in this im­por­tant and spe­cial­ized fair in Ja­pan un­der MAI Fund­ing fol­lowed by last year par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Fash­ion World tokyo Novem­ber 2016 un­der MAIS Scheme.

P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, Vice-chair­man, CLE ad­dress­ing the Fo­rum

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