He added, with significant relaxations in lockdown at various destinations and the government’s prudent policies, the leather industry was witnessing a steady recovery.
According to the Annual Report(2020-21) by Pakistan Tanners Association, the export of leather&leather products from Pakistan increased by 8.86% from $765.355 million to $833.199 million during July-June 2020-21 as compared to the same period of the corresponding year, which is a great source of satisfaction for the leather exporters.
As for the structure of leather export, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, around 20% of total exports is finished leather, 34% is leather garments, 31% is gloves, footwear accounts for 13% and 2% is leather goods in the fiscal year 2020-21.
For these data, “it is a strange thing that the export of footwear is less and leather garment is more. World figures are not like that. In the world, footwear comprises 65% of total leather exports,” Mr. Agha Saiddain said, adding “we have not worked on footwear, there are no joint ventures, law and order situation in Karachi was unsuitable for big brands.”
Since China is the number one producer of footwear and leather goods and Pakistan produces excellent leather to big brands with lower labor costs, he said there’s much potential for cooperation in a win-win situation. He also suggested the joint ventures should be included in CPEC special economic zones.
He added that tanneries can process the raw materials from all over the regions in Pakistan, even those imported from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan. “Currently, we are utilizing only 50% of our tanning capacity. Fifty percent further tanning capacity exists. It takes no time in increasing the tanning capacity.”
Besides, there are still concerns. Asif Kaimkhani, a leather product seller in Karachi told Gwadar Pro that the number of leather craftsmen is decreasing. “The last generation of leather craftsmen, the ones who were pupils have now become masters working with the machines. Their eyesight has been weakened. When they get retired, there are few successors.”