The fifth Pakistan Mega Leather Show (PMLS), held at the Lahore International Expo Centre on 27–29 January, brought new hope to the country’s leather industry.

The show was jointly organised by all the stakeholders in Pakistan’s leather sector including the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Leather Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Pakistan Leather Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

In his opening address, PTA chairman Agha Saiddain explained the reasons for the decline in leather sector exports and suggested measures to address these problems. In his speech, the adviser to the prime minister on commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, who also inaugurated PMLS, discussed the barriers to growth in exports that Saiddain had pointed out and promised that all these bottlenecks would be removed soon.

Now in its fifth year, PMLS welcomed many first-time foreign customers from China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Turkey, and other countries. There was also a Japanese trade delegation in attendance comprising eight companies and 13 members. Seiji Tomokuni, chairman of Japan Glove Industries Association, was impressed with the show and the outstanding quality of goods on display, illustrating the potential for growth.

Overall, the organisers said that 14,500 visitors attended, including 125 foreign customers, while the exhibitors estimated the value of the business and future enquiries conducted around $250 million. This was a great result for Pakistan’s leather sector, organisers said, and a turning point for the industry.

Saiddain also held a press conference during which he detailed the main features and purposes of PMLS, including its ability to boost leather sector exports, and promote R&D and joint ventures with foreign buyers.

Foreign buyers and visitors were also attracted to the Trend Gallery organised by Pakistan Fashion Design Institute (PFDI), which displayed innovative articles of finished leather, leather shoes, and leather garments and products. Seminars on the theme of ‘What will be the Pakistan’s Leather Industry in 2030’ also contributed to the atmosphere of optimism.

East goes west

A high-powered Japanese delegation visited the fi fth PMLS and met with the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) to provide a viable platform for interaction and discussion about the leather sector of Pakistan, and how to foster further business opportunities and joint ventures. PTA also arranged visits for the delegation to various tanners, shoe factories and leather bag facilities throughout Lahore.

PMLS primary objectives

1. To portray and improve the positive image of Pakistan to the world’s business community.

2. To motivate leather business entrepreneurs for business growth.

3. To enhance the confi dence of investors in Pakistan’s business market and alert international companies to the potential of Pakistan’s leather sector.

4. To enhance the potential strength of the domestic sector in order to provide a viable platform within the country for joint ventures between the allied industries of Pakistan’s leather sector and foreign companies.