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Leather producers seek govt support for promotion of goods
01
Oct '11
Promotion of goods through international expositions would help the leather industry tap the vast unexploited potential, Uganda Leather Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association has said.

At the inaugural meeting of the Association in Kampala, its Chairperson Victoria Ssenkubuge said the Association is expecting Government assistance to enhance its production capacity.

Ssenkubuge maintained that they are in need of assistance to boost their technical ability and product volumes for domestic as well as overseas markets.

She stated that the move would also prove helpful to Government's import substitution policy.

She further said the lack of appreciation of domestically produced items is also holding back the leather industry, to the extent that some people buy imported items which do not even subsist for 30 days.

She noted that Uganda stood amongst the top 10 best leather producing African nations, which means that Ugandan leather goods have a comparative advantage over other leather producing countries. However, she lamented that promotional drawbacks render the country's products less competitive at international front.

There are around 500 leather manufacturers in Uganda, of which 150 are in Kampala. However, only 25 of these 150 producers have joined the newly formed association so far.

According to the experts, if due importance is attached to domestically produced leather items like handbags, belts, wallets and leather shoes, it can help bring down the redundancy ratio in the country.

Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde pledged to aid small-and-medium enterprises by way of a directorate, which would soon be constituted under her Ministry.

She stated that they are looking forward to assist small enterprises in the informal sector to help them enhance their ability to penetrate in overseas markets.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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