Lahore, June 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): Made in Pakistan-tag should be the hallmark while going for international market”. It was stated by Shah Faisal Afridi president Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry during a discussion session with a delegation from Pakistan Footwear manufacturers association. The dignitaries present in the discussion were the Executive Committee members of the Footwear Manufacturer’s Association including the secretary general, Lt.Col Liaqat Ali Qamar, Javed Iqbal Siddiqui, Abid Hafeez and Mr. Younus.
During discussion, the prime issue under debate was the quality and value addition of footwear and leather related products including their marketing and placement in the international market. Shah Faisal Afridi maintained that initiatives should be taken by the footwear industry stake holders to compete the international footwear brands. Modernization in designs and new production techniques should be practiced by avoiding conventional ways, said Afridi.
Faisal Afridi stated that in today’s modern world, people are more conscious about their appearance compared to earlier times. Gone are the days when clothing and shoes were just basic needs, he said adding that nowadays people like positive change in their life style. According to Faisal Afridi, this positive change gives manufacturers an opportunity to win the consumer market just by creating something new and innovative for the customers.
He said that it is the time for Pakistan to market only one brand that is “made in Pakistan”. He was of the view that Business should be totally based on the customer needs, and marketers have to be customer oriented rather than being producer oriented. He suggested to create a dynamic footwear industry, which cannot be possible without knowing the international market needs, aesthetics and comfort.
Adding to the discussion, the secretary general of Footwear manufacturers association Mr. Liaqat Ali Qamar inquired about the opportunities available in China and how Pak-China Joint Chamber could be helpful in expanding exports of footwear in Chinese market. He said that seeking the demand of something unique and different in market, Pakistani traditional footwear designs can be modified and could be exported to China and other potent markets. He said that Pakistani Tanning Industry is well established and produces high quality finished leather from hides as well as skins. He informed that the footwear industry in Pakistan spares no efforts to maintain highest quality in its production which has helped retain consumer confidence. All raw materials, ingredients and chemicals undergo analysis and physical tests in accredited laboratories, said Mr. Liaqat.
Mr. Javed Iqbal Siddiqui, suggested that government should increase export of leather products by rationalizing tariffs and import of eco-friendly chemicals. He said that the high cost of various inputs, especially utilities and taxes, make the country’s products uncompetitive in the international market.
Both of the parties jointly agreed that combined efforts should be made towards the value-added finished goods of leather rather than exporting resources in raw form and urged the government to ban export of hides and semi-tanned leather or levy a 25 per cent duty on export of semi- finished and finished leather.
It is notable that Leather shoes are in high demand all over the world, but Pakistan is still unable to get its proper share due to high duties imposed on raw material which has made shoe industry uncompetitive in the international market, restricting growth of footwear industry in Pakistan on the one hand and causing a loss of export markets available in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia , China and Thailand on the other hand. Therefore, the industry needs a reduction of duties on tannery and machines, and raw material besides allowing duty-free import of tannery machines and spare parts.
For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353