South Asia leather association (LIASA) is formed

A two day leather industry event of the South Asian countries particularly, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was held in Chennai in early September aimed at “strengthening the competitiveness of South Asia in leather and leather products”. Leading policy makers, industrialists and others from each of these countries participated and discussed strategies to combat the raw material shortage and price crunch due to recession in European markets and create a regional brand image.
It was organised to highlight a UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) study as part of a project on development oriented integration in South Asia.

Rajeev Kher, Additional Secretary, Minister of Commerce, India, said in his inaugural address that it is unfortunate that the leather industry is not adequately integrated in its production network as other sectors in the South Asian region and that a framework for regional organisation that would foster greater integration.

M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, India Council for Leather Exports, said that South Asian countries particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not able to face the competition abroad due to lack of co-ordination within the region and that customers abroad use this situation to play off one manufacturer against the other to cut down prices to their own advantage and suggested that South Asian countries should have a regional association to integrate industry and identify areas for co-operation. He also said that the movement of specific raw materials and components from one country to another will help grow leather product exports from the region.

The industry representatives were in favour of having a regional association for the benefit of the leather industry in South Asia. S.M. Naseem, Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association and Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex Adelchi Footwear, Bangladesh were among the important exporters who spoke during the meeting. The general consensus was for free movement of raw materials within South Asia and for an integrated growth of the industry and collaboration. Surprisingly the industry is by and large unaware of even this important

After detailed discussion it was decided to form a regional industry association called Leather Industries Association of South Asia (LIASA) to be headed by M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, India. It also decided to form a working committee of 8 members for exchange of ideas and identification of areas of co-operation.
Source: V.M. Khaleelur Rahman in Indian Leather, September 2012).

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