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Business to be done at ACLE
Jun '09
There is a growing sense that the popular All China Leather Exhibition(ACLE) in Shanghai will further confirm the optimism within the global leather industry first noted at APLF in Hong Kong earlier this year.

There is good cause for being reasonably optimistic because the Chinese economy remains one of the very few major economies showing some growth: in mid-March this year the International Monetary Fund forecast annual GDP growth in China at 6.1%. Although China's growth is, today, slower than previous years, compared to other national economies these are excellent figures.

So, while it is true that doing business in China will be even more demanding than before, the country remains an attractive market proposition.

China presently produces some 40% of the world's leather. In 2008 it exported USD 42.53 billion of leather and leather products.

Not surprisingly, companies in the leather and footwear sectors, have always been eager to enter the China market.This can be tracked by the way in which ACLE itself developed. The exhibition chalked up its 10th Anniversary in 2008 but, in the early years especially, had to keep changing location in order to meet the seemingly insatiable demand for exhibition space.

That demand remains buoyant, with the expectation that exhibitor participation will, at the very least, match last year's numbers. The event will occupy 5 halls in the exhibition centre, again the same as last year. Bookings at ACLE - together with concurrently-held finished-products events CIFF and Moda Shanghai - are running at 90% of the total available, from both domestic and international companies.

In the domestic halls, where local Chinese companies are based, pavilions organised by local associations such as Baigou, Haining, Tongxiang, Huidong, and Jiaxing.

In the international halls, the following 16 national/regional groups have confirmed participation at ACLE:
• Australian Hide Skin and Leather Association
• Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters Association
• Assintecal – Brazilian Association of Companies of Components for Leather Footwear and Manufactured Goods
• CICB – Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry
• Ethiopia Leather Industry Association
• FFTM - French Tanners Federation
• German Leather Federation
• Indian Trade Promotion Organisation
• Assomac – Italian Footwear and Tanning Machinery Association
• Korean Tanners Association
• Pakistan Tanners Association
• Acexpiel – Leather Industry Association of Spain
• Taiwan Footwear Manufacturers Association
• Thai Tanners Association
• US Hide Skin Leather Association

Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters Association will expand the size of the Turkish pavilion this year. Because of the economic downturn in Europe and Russia, more small and medium Turkish leather suppliers are changing their focus to China.

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