Putting and end to all the speculation, the Organisers of the Asia Pacific Leather Fair (APLF) which was to be held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre at the revised time of June 26-28, 2003, have decided to cancel the show.

The annual Raw Materials & Manufacturing part of APLF will next be held next year, March 29 – April 1, while the biannual Fashion & Finished Products Show will be held at its usual October dates (October 6-8, 2003). Over 19 years old, APLF is normally held every April in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the decision, Michael Duck, director of Asia Pacific Leather Fair Ltd, said: ‘Responding to the concerns of exhibitors in regards to the current travel restrictions imposed by the World Health Organisation, we have decided not to proceed with the re-scheduled APLF in June this year. Due to the SARS outbreak and consequent travel restrictions, we were forced to postpone APLF from the original April dates to new dates in June in the hope that the situation would be resolved, travel restrictions would be lifted and our customers’ confidence to travel would return. Many of the APLF exhibitors and buyers welcomed and endorsed this decision to postpone the fair. However, it is clear that the situation has not yet been resolved and so we are now forced, very reluctantly, to cancel the June 2003 edition of APLF.’

Exhibitors are offered the options of having a 100% refund of their payment for their space at the cancelled fair, transferring their payment to the October 2003 edition of the APLF Fashion & Finished Products Show, or to the 2004 edition of APLF to be held in March.

The organisers will put up an on-line product directory for all the exhibitors at the Asia Pacific Leather Fair website at: [http://www.aplf.com] by June 29 and invite all registered buyers worldwide to visit the APLF website. Exhibitors can post their company information and pictures of their products on the website and there will be hyperlinks to their websites. ‘For the past 19 years, the Asia Pacific Leather Fair is the most important trading platform for the global leather industry. Though the industry cannot meet each other face-to-face this time, we hope that this on-line product directory can link them up for them to do business with each other’, said Duck.