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Indian tanners eye US market amid trade war

Oct '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to revive the US generalised system of preferences (GSP), Indian leather goods manufacturers are looking at an opportunity to increase trade with the United States amid the US-China trade war. The opportunity is immense as India’s annual trade with the US in leather goods is worth $1 million compared to China’s $32 million.

While Chinese leather goods attract 32 per cent duty in the US, India’s attract only 8 per cent duty, which may become zero if GSP is revived, according to Ramesh Juneja, president of the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) Tanners Association.

India manufactures 2,016 million units of leather accessories and 1,900 million pairs of footwear every year.

Of these, 43 per cent are made in Kolkata, where CLC in Bantala is fast growing into the world’s largest leather goods manufacturing hub with the gradual shift of Kanpur leather industry to Kolkata, West Bengal finance, industry and information technology minister Amit Mitra said at an India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) event recently.

The Kolkata Port Trust’s marketing division has a hand in bringing Kanpur leather units to Kolkata and draw a chunk of leather cargo to the port.

Bantala houses 370 tanneries on 205 acres and 60 leather goods manufacturing units on 30 acres. For 30 companies that have shifted from Kanpur to Kolkata, 9 more acres have been allocated.

Around 80 acres of land will be required for 100 more units which are willing to shift from Kanpur to Kolkata and in the next two years, there will be 300 more tanneries operating in Bantala, attracting an investment of ₹80,000 crore, , according to media reports from the east Indian state.

Jobs in Bantala will go up from the present 2.2 lakh to 5 lakh and the turnover of CLC in Bantala should touch ₹30,000 crore, Mitra said. CLC registered a turnover of ₹13,500 crore in FY19 and has been the most successful among the 100 industrial clusters set up by West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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