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12th International Leather Goods Fair begins

Feb '07

A team of Italian designers have arrived here to attend the 12th International Leather Goods Fair which gets underway on Friday.

They will assist small manufacturers of leather goods to increase their exports mainly through better design, said A K Chatterjee, Chairman, Council For Leather Exports (eastern region)

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said Leather goods exports were expected to grow by 10 percent in 2006-07 compared to 2005-06, reaching Rs1,900 crore.

Bulk of the production and exports of leather goods is accounted for by the eastern region exporting to major markets like U.S. and the European Union member countries.

Products such as handbags, wallets, portfolios, rucksacks, briefcases, belts, sports goods, leather upholstery, industrial gloves, footwear, garments and travel goods are lined up for the fair.

Foreign buyers from the U.K., Germany, Spain, France, Poland, the U.S., Canada, Latin America, South Africa and New Zealand are expected to visit the three-day fair to source products.

Setting up of a footwear park in the State has been finalized and selection of land for the park has been undertaken, said Mani Almal, President, Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association.

Three parks were proposed of which the one at Agra has been shelved while Chennai project is under implementation. About 200 acres for the park would be required for the park to have a 50-acre cluster for small units, Chatterjee said.

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