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ACLE continues to expand
17
Sep '10
The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) is focused on leather sector companies looking to either enter the Chinese economy or expand their existing activities within it. Prospects for the short- and medium-term look excellent and, judging by the activity on the fairgrounds, ACLE powerfully reflected this trend.

The event took place early September in Shanghai and generally boosted the increased optimism that characterised ACLE in 2009. The fair's total raw space coverage increased by an average of 25% - international and domestic halls combined. Since ACLE is about the leather sector in China, the mood has been upbeat for some time: a mood not necessarily in evidence elsewhere.

It confirmed the stark reality of the dominant role of the 'China Factor' in the global leather industry. Maybe not so surprising since a few weeks previously China's had been declared the world's second largest economy in terms of GDP, overtaking Japan. At just under 10% China's annual growth is simply stupendous, especially given the ground shaking developments almost everywhere else in the world.

This is in contrast to the 'advanced' economies in the West and Japan, which reflect a growing unease that the economic downturn may not have ended; that there is a real danger of a 'double dip' recession.

What emerged during ACLE was that the prospects of those doing business with China are generally a lot more buoyant than those that are not. For Chinese buyer Bai Xue from Jinmau Furniture Company, the fair was “efficient and effective for business”. He added: “It provided me with rich information and the opportunity to network and conduct deals with numerous exhibitors in various sectors, from around the world”.

This is not a 'new' development: but it underscores what many have recognised for some time.

As an example: last year ACLE organisers, APLF Ltd, made a special pitch to Chinese car manufacturers to use ACLE as a resource for sourcing their leather requirements. Things move quickly in China, and as industry analyst Ron Sauer pointed out: “At ACLE we saw many more car leather tanners as exhibitors than last year. Some of their names are new to many and were only heard of quite recently.”

Mike Redwood, a highly respected commentator on the global leather industry noted: “ACLE continues to expand…. it is all about China and the return of chemical companies - who had stepped away from trade show marketing - to sit alongside the growing Chinese chemical segment.” Unstated - if these companies want to stay in the leather industry then they need to be at ACLE. This was demonstrated in Hall 2 of the fairgrounds: not only was it full of chemical companies but the CEOs of the large brands - remained present throughout.

ACLE ran 1 - 3 September, 2010, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Pudong, Shanghai.

All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE)

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