The target for leather, leather garments and leather products for the year 2002-2003 has been revised to US$590 million, which is 12% below the export figure of $672 million for 2001-2002. Leather garments exports are expected to be $235 million for 2002-2003, which shows a drastic decline of 27% compared with exports of $321 million last year.

The conservative target for 2003-2004 for total leather and leather products is estimated at $635 million while the target under normal conditions is fixed at $650 million. Exports figures were revised when a delegation from the Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PLEMGA), led by Fawad Ijaz Khan, chairman PLGMEA, met Tariq Ikram, chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) on March 29 to discuss revision of annual export targets for the years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.

Fawad Ijaz Khan stated that the markets of Poland, Japan and Russia have huge potential for leather garments but the Pakistani leather garments exporters are unable to penetrate these markets because of high import tariffs. He hoped that very soon Poland would come under the EU and the duty on imports of leather garments would be reduced to 4% as with other EU countries.

Russia is also expected to reduce the import tariff. After reduction of import tariffs, these markets will be the focus of marketing efforts of Pakistani leather garment exporters.