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The 30th India International Leather fair, the largest integrated B2B leather fair in the world, opened on a grand note. Spread over 9800 square metres at the Chennai Trade Centre, this year’s fair occupied 8- 10 per cent space more than last year’s. “This year we host 440 companies of which 142 are from overseas.” said J Deepak, CMD of IndiaTrade Promotion Organisation. The exhibition showcased entire range of products - from raw material to finished products and auxiliary products such as finished leather, shoes, shoe components, leather garments, fashion accessories and leather goods. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, inaugurated the fair. The who’s who of leather industry showcased their products.

From its inception, the leather industry has been a major contributor to exports. “Leather trade now totals to $ 12 billion, both domestic and international. In the next five to six years we expect this to increase to $ 27 billion. This demands increased in manpower from the present 2.5 million to 5 million,” said Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports.

The plans of new leather clusters are taking shape. 360 acres at Kottapattinam, Andhra Pradesh has been allotted Rs 120 crore by the Central government for this. “In Tamil Nadu we are unable to get large piece of land. Andhra Pradesh is trying to source around 15 acres near Chitoor and Kuppam to set up a green field leather cluster,” said Ahmed.

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