Indian group offers leather expertise
March 14–An Indian business association is offering to help interested Ugandans improve the quality of their hides and skins to manufacture better leather and increase value-addition for domestic and export markets.
The All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA) recently signed agreements with the relevant umbrella associations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Three months ago, a 10-member Indian leather industry delegation visited the three countries and met with government officials about the possible investment and collaboration opportunities to develop the leather industry in their countries.
“East African countries, which are rich in raw materials for leather sector, are looking to India as a partner for development. They have seen Indian leather industry’s growth in the past four decades – from less than a billion dollar exports level to $6 billion,” M Rafeeque Ahmed, the AISHTMA President said.
These developments are part of the framework of ‘Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa’ , a South-South Aid-for-Trade Project implemented by International Trade Centre (2015-2020), and funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
According to recent India central government reports in 2016, India missed its target of $6.25 billion in the financial year 2015–2016. In this period, the country’s leather shipments totalled $5.92 billion, down by 10.11% on the previous fiscal year. Finished goods and the footwear categories suffered the worst, decreasing by 21% and 20.88% respectively.