Footwear-makers excited about upcoming Agra trade centre

The Council for Leather Exports is planning a ₹19-crore trade centre in Agra to showcase domestic manufacturers’ products through trade shows to international markets.

Coming up over 4.27 acres, the trade centre will have 72,560 sq ft for manufacturers to display their wares. The estimated duration of construction is nine months.

Now, trade fairs in Agra, one of India’s largest footwear manufacturing hubs, take place in open grounds. The necessary equipment, including air-conditioners, come from Delhi, “an expensive proposition,” says Colonel RK Khindri, Coordinator, Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber.

Around 3-4 lakh people are involved in the trade, which generated sales close to ₹22,000 crore last year, says Khindri. More than 5,000 factories, which include a large proportion of tiny manufacturing units operate from Agra, meeting about 65 per cent of the country’s domestic leather footwear requirement.

Khindri says exporters hope the trade centre opens by November next year. About 20 per cent of the funding will be come from industry players while the rest will come from Central Government scheme Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports .

A Special Purpose Vehicle, jointly promoted by the Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber and the CLE, will have control over the project, while invitations for execution of the projects have been extended to private construction firms.

According to sources at the Council For Leather Exports, the project was conceptualised in 2013-14, but due to unforeseen delays, the execution has been pushed into the next year. A design studio to showcase unique Indian designs, is also in the pipeline.

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