LAHORE: The value-added leather sector needs to seize the opportunity and further develop to become an even greater export earner for Pakistan, suggested the head of European Union Cooperation Delegation to Pakistan, Bernard Francois.
He was speaking at an orientation workshop held in connection with the Mega Leather Show 2015, arranged by the EU-funded Pakistan Leather Competitiveness Improvement Programme (PLCIP) under the EU’s Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme.
The aim of the programme is to introduce Pakistan’s leather industry to the international community and donors and invite them to the leather show, which will be held from March 6 to 8 in Lahore.
Despite being an export earner, the sector had a trivial share in the global trade of value-added goods and products.
“Pakistan lags behind other regional players, and there is an imminent need to make the sector more competitive in the international market, especially after the GSP Plus status,” remarked Francois.
PLCIP Project Director Usman H Malik highlighted the activities envisioned under the programme and briefed the audience that in three years, PLCIP has supported the leather sector by focusing on improving productivity, shop floor management, export diversification and new market access.
“Although Pakistan is a strong international player in the leather apparel and accessories sector (including leather clothing and gloves) controlling 7.6% of the world trade, in the footwear sector, which is 73% of the overall global leather industry, its share has been negligible in the last several years,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2015.