The US-China trade war offers huge opportunities to Indian leather exporters to raise shipments to the United States, according to the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), whose chairman P R Aqeel Ahmed recently said at the National Export Excellence Awards event in New Delhi that the sector’s exports to the US grew by about 7 per cent in the last four months.

He said leather exports have recorded a dip in growth in value terms but in volume terms, these are increasing, according to a news agency report.

The commerce minister has already announced a Rs.2,600-crore package for the leather sector to boost exports, Ahmed said.

“Despite the global economic slowdown, production and employment in the leather sector have increased. Also, this is the only industry where in the exports of value-added products ($5.69 billion) are almost five times more than the import of inputs/components/accessories and capital goods, which is to the tune of $1 billion,” he said.

He added that 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. CLE presents the Export Excellence Awards to its member exporters every year in product categories like finished leather, leather goods, leather garments, footwear, saddlery and harness items, and footwear components.