India’s leather exports to the US grew about seven per cent in the last four months. The US-China trade war offers huge opportunities to Indian leather exporters to raise shipments to the United States.
India is making efforts to boost leather exports. Despite the global economic slowdown, production and employment in the leather sector have increased. Also, this is the only industry where exports of value-added products are almost five times more than the import of inputs/components/accessories and capital goods. The industry is undertaking a multi-pronged approach including product and market diversification, attracting investments, increasing capacities and also developing skills of workers so as to increase its global market share in the coming years. Currently, Europe accounts for about 70 per cent of leather exports from India. The sector employs about 42 lakh people and is labor intensive. The footwear sub-sector accounts for half of India’s leather exports. The leather garment sub-sector produces 16 million pieces a year and accounts for one-tenth of exports.
The entitlement rate for leather garment sector for duty-free imports of raw material may be increased from three to five per cent. The move would help in increasing the availability of raw materials at affordable rates.