Follow a gap of three years the Seoul International Leather & Fur Fair will be held again this year at COEX, Samsung-dong, Seoul, Korea, from October 6-8, where 110 companies from ten countries are expected to participate. The fair will be co-sponsored by Korea Tanners’ Association and Korea Fur Industry Cooperative and organised by Joong Ang Exhibition Co Ltd. On display will be items related to leather and fur such as hides and skins, leather and fur garments, shoes, bags, handbags, accessories and chemicals etc. Together with these items, leather and fur processors, import and export companies, promotional companies and the Korea Association of Fur Auctions etc, will participate to show various items, technology and services etc.

For a successful opening of the fair, the Korea Tanners’ Association and Korea Fur Industry Cooperative are proceeding with a common marketing strategy and promotional activities to overseas leather and fur related companies. In addition to this, they are trying hard to establish sisterhood relationships with regional concentrations with leather and fur related companies in China and to sign agreements for joint fair business to attract famous buyers.

Kim Sang Hee, a director of Joong Ang Fair Co Ltd, which organises the fair, said: ‘Since this fair is the only leather and fur fair held in Korea, we are making full preparation for this event. With the opening of this fair, we expect to show to the world the high quality leather and fur products of Korea and provide a ground for companies at home and abroad to increase active interchange of informations and trades.’

In 2002, there were a total of 102 companies participating at the fair from Korea, China, Italy, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc. During the fair period, 12,500 overseas buyers and visitors were present and the amount from the business deals reached around US$1.8 million.

At present, cow hide processing in Korea has advanced manufacturing technology and based on its stabilised production structure, it has a production system which is able to supply massive orders at the right time. Its technology of manufacturing various leather and fur items is being recognized all over the world.

Exports of leather products in 2002 reached US$1,123 million for raw hide and finished leather, US$218 million for bags and leather garments and US$25 million for fur garments. Imports of bags and leather garments reached about US$300 million and fur garments were US$200 million. In the future, leather exports from Korea are expected to increase by an annual average of 4.7% and fur item exports by 31%. Because of this, imports of raw hide and fur materials are steadily on the increase and overseas suppliers participating at the fair are expected to find various importers within Korea.

At this fair, 50 domestic companies such as Nasign Co Ltd, a renowned leather hide and leather garment manufacturing company in Korea, and Jindo Corporation, a fur garment manufacturer, will be present together with 60 overseas companies, and it is expected that the number of visitors will reach about 14,000.

Collateral events such as export consultations for invited overseas buyers, new product announcements, investment orientations etc, will be arranged as well. Together with these events, fashion shows are to be shown by the North American Association of Fur Auction (NAFA), Nasign Co Ltd, and Jindo Corporation.