Leather Industry Need to Change the Export Structure

Bernard Francois, head of cooperation, Delegation of the
European Union (EU) to Pakistan, attended the second project steering committee
meeting arranged by the EU-funded Pakistan Leather Competitiveness Improvement
Programme (PLCIP) under the European Union’s Trade Related Technical Assistance
The programme is aimed at improving the overall value chain
in the leather sector of Pakistan. The purpose of the meeting was to update
stakeholders and EU representatives about the programme’s activities and
industry interventions over the last one year.
Speaking on the occasion, Francois emphasised on changing
structure of exports to include more value-added products to compete with
China. He said that the government of Pakistani should take the reins in their
hands, and steer the sector towards more value addition, and higher export
In his presentation, PLCIP Project Director Usman H Malik
briefed the audience about the value additions and intervening activities in
the leather industry. He said that that the PLCIP was supporting the Business
Intermediary Organisations (BIOs) i.e. PLGMEA, PTA, PGMEA and PFMA; and
Business Development Services and Vocational Education Training (BDS/VET)
providers i.e. Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (Lahore), University of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences (Lahore), National Institute of Leather
Technology (Karachi), Government Institute of Leather Technology (Gujranwala) and
Leather Product Development Institute (Sialkot).
The main developments included improving productivity, shop
floor management, export diversification and new market access. “The
assistance of the PLCIP would go a long way in providing technical training and
know how to the Pakistani leather exporters to address the challenging needs of
the international market,” he said.
Representing Pakistan, Commerce Ministry Additional
Secretary Dr Aamer Ahmed said that the PLCIP’s cross-cutting programme had been
beneficial for the leather sector and the industry would need to keep pace with
the changing times and create value addition to enter the high-end product
markets in the leather sector. “The industry needs a forward looking
approach to match the product to the market demands,” he said and assured
participants of the ministry’s support to new proposals. Dr Aamer also invited
the EU to join hands for improvement in the leather sector beyond the TRTA-III
Representatives from the Pakistan Tanners Association,
Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan
Footwear Association and Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters
Association, Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Government Institute of
Leather Technology, National Institute of Leather Technology, University of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Leather Product Development Institute highlighted
different issues and challenges being faced by the manufacturers in general,
and requested the EU for further assistance.

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from PITAD Director
Umar Dad Afridi.

Source: Daily Times

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