10th Leather Goods and Footwear Expo opens in Katmandu

The 10th edition of Leather Goods and Footwear Expo kicked off at Rastriya Sabha Griha on Tuesday. Finance Minister Shankar Prasad Koirala inaugurated the seven-day fair showcasing domestic leather goods and footwear.

The Leather Footwear and Goods Manufacturers’ Association Nepal (LFGMAN) is the organizer of the event. There are 95 stalls of 75 leather goods manufacturing companies exhibiting various leather products like jackets, waist coats, shoes, bags, purses, card holders, gloves, key chains, passport and bluebook covers, among others.

Apart from leather goods, products made of synthetic and allo are also displayed.

According to the organiser, customers will get a 15 percent cash discount on footwear products at the expo . Prices of leather jackets start at Rs 3,500 while shoes cost Rs 450 to Rs 10,000. Similarly, leather purses and card holders cost Rs 400 to Rs 600. Prices of leather gloves start at Rs 650.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Finance Minister Koirala said that the government was ready to help promote and increase the use of domestic products. He added that the ministry was planning to establish special footwear zones in many places in the country.

“As leather products have been playing a major role in the country’s economy, we are in the process of setting up a footwear zone in Bhairahawa and Biratnagar among other places which will help expand the footwear business,” he said.

President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Suraj Vaidya said that the private sector and the government should go ahead to strengthen the domestic leather goods and footwear industry. He added that the country would be self-sufficient in footwear products in five to 10 years, and that domestic products had started replacing imports and secured 55 percent of the market, a big increase from only 15 percent about 10 years ago. “The industry has been growing 5 to 10 percent annually despite facing many challenges like high import duty and lack of skilled manpower,” he said. LFGMAN President Homnath Upadhyay urged the government to create a policy requiring government offices to use domestic products to promote them. “The Nepali people are increasingly using domestic leather products, but the government should help more for the growth of the industry,” he added.

Organised with the aim of promoting and branding domestic products among Nepalis, the expo is expected to be attended by 200,000 visitors.

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