The CLE, the apex trade promotion orgnisation of the leather & leather products industry, also said that there is an expectation that this growth trend would continue in the coming months.
CLE's newly elected chairman Sanjay Leekha said that after a prolonged period of market slowdown caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, which led to 27.72 per cent decline in the exports during 2020-21, the sector is back on the growth track with the outbound shipments showing impressive resurgence during the current fiscal so far.
''As per latest data, export of leather, leather products and footwear increased from USD 146.79 million in April-May 2020 to USD 641.72 million in April-May 2021. This is a very good beginning for us, which we hope to sustain in the coming months, as India is viewed as a favourite sourcing and investment destination,'' he said in a statement. Leekha, Managing Director of Alpine Apparels Pvt Ltd, Faridabad took charge as Chairman of the council on June 17.
Stressing on the importance of digitisation, he said the pandemic has ushered in or rather intensified the digital era. ''With increasing prominence of e-commerce platforms and also virtual exhibitions, we must ensure optimum utilisation of the various available digital modes to gain further market access,'' he added. The chairman informed that the council has organised 12 virtual buyer-seller meets/ B2B events during 2020-21 in more than 17 countries and has planned about 20 events which include participation in international exhibitions, buyer-seller meets and one designers fair.
Besides, the CLE plans to organise virtual meets and webinars in the US, Israel, Guatemala and Germany in co-ordination with Indian Missions concerned.
Further, he added that the Indian Footwear and Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) implemented by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) during 2017-21 has played a vital role in modernisation and technological up-gradation of production units and skilling of workforce. ''We have requested the government to continue this IFLADP scheme, which is under consideration. We already have the inherent strengths of traditional knowledge and strong raw material base,'' he said. With the support of the government, concerted efforts have been taken in the past years to substantially increase our production capabilities and common infrastructure like design studios, and testing laboratories, which has helped in becoming a leading exporter of high quality value added products, he said.