Three-day ‘Meet at Agra’ starts in city
The fair is expected to host more than 200 companies at the sprawling 400-square meter area, with over 278 malls.
Leather products, wide range of footwear and their components, accessories, chemicals used in manufacturing, modern machinery and latest technology related to footwear industry are going to be on display in the fair.
“The demonetization and introduction of goods and services tax will help in reducing loan rates, cost of transportation and help businesses to flourish. All recommendations of this meet will be taken care of in the next budget,” said the union minister.
Talking to TOI, AFMEC president Puran Dawar said “We are expecting a footfall of 8000 business visitors in the fair this year and are hoping for business proposals worth Rs 15,000 crore to be made at the meet. More than 200 companies from across the country and overseas are attending the fair. Representatives of companises from France, Germany, Italy, U.K, Turkey, Taiwan, China, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Brazil have already reached. We have received an overwhelming response this year, which is surpirsing because there has been adrop in exports due to recession in Europe.”
The event is aimed at creating business opportunity to the component manufacturers, to the suppliers of finished leather, footwear machinery and learning opportunity for the students undergoing training at footwear industry,” he added. Dawar added that the government must ensure steps to change school curriculum and include the footwear industry in it.
Ramesh Kumar, executive director council for leather exports said, “The leather industry has major contribution in the progress of the nation. It is one of the biggest industries generating employment. Presently 30 lakh people are working in leather industry and in next five years it has the capability to provide employment to 30 lakh more people. We have training institutes, adequate amount raw material, and easy availability of labor. Under make in India, leather industry is a prime industry.”
Ram Sakal Gurjar, minister of state (independent charge) for sports and youth welfare, Ramshankar Katheria, the inspector general, and other officials were also part of the inaugral function.
The footwear industry in Agra is renowed for the leather products that it sells. Footwear has a share of 46% in the overall exports from leather industry. It has a share of 28% in the total footwear export from the country and 65% of the domestic requirement.
The city has around 150 semi-mechanized manufacturing units and 5000 cottage industries, accounting for nearly 400,000 jobs and a daily production capacity of over 250,000 pairs of footwear.