European Union supports Pakistan leather sector

Islamabad, December 26, 2016 (PPI-OT):Mr. Bernard Francois, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Pakistan attended the 2nd Project Steering Committee Meeting arranged by the EU funded “Pakistan Leather Competitiveness Improvement Program (PLCIP)” under European Union’s Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme held at Serena Hotel today. The Programme is working to improve the overall value chain in the leather sector of Pakistan. The purpose of this meeting was to update the industry stakeholders and EU representatives about the Programme activities and industry interventions over the last one year.

Mr. Bernard Francois, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Pakistan emphasized on changing the structure of exports to include more value-added products to compete with China. He further highlighted that the role of the EU is that of a catalyst, and compared it to the role of yeast in breadmaking, and the industry and the Pakistani Government have to take the reins in their hands, and steer the sector towards more value addition, and higher export earnings.

Speaking of the event, the Project Director of PLCIP, Mr. Usman H. Malik in his presentation, briefed the audience about the value additions and intervening activities in the leather industry that PLCIP has been involved in supporting the Business Intermediary Organizations (BIOs) i.e. PLGMEA, PTA, PGMEA and PFMA; and Business Development Services and Vocational Education Training (BDS/VET) providers i.e. Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (Lahore), University of Veterinary an Animal Sciences (Lahore), National Institute of Leather Technology (Karachi), Government Institute of Leather Technology (Gujranwala) and Leather Product Development Institute (Sialkot).

The main developments included improving productivity, shop floor management, export diversification and new market access. The assistance of the PLCIP will go a long way in providing technical training and knowhow to the Pakistani leather exporters to address the challenging needs of the international market.

The Government of Pakistan was represented by Dr. Aamer Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, who remarked that PLCIP’s cross-cutting Programme has proved beneficial for the leather sector and the industry will need to keep pace with the changing times and create value addition to enter the high-end product markets in the leather sector. The industry needs a forward looking approach to match the product to the market demands, and Dr. Aamer assured that MoC will be there to help and assist with the new proposals in this sector. Dr. Aamer further invited EU to join hands for improvement in the leather sector beyond the TRTA-III programme.

Speaking on the occasion, representatives of the Pakistan Tanners Association, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Footwear Association and Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Government Institute of Leather Technology, National Institute of Leather Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Leather Product Development Institute highlighted the different issues and challenges being faced by the manufacturers in general and requested the EU for further assistance so that the full fruits of the EU TRTA-III can be realised.

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from Director PITAD Mr. Umar Dad Afridi. The event was attended by representatives of the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Ministry of Commerce, Industry Associations, and educational institutes.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Leather Competitiveness Improvement Program (PLCIP)
2nd Floor, Al-Maalik Building, 19 Davis Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-423-6313235/6
Fax: +92-423-6312959
E-mail: project.director@plcip.org
Website: www.plcip.org