India's leather exports could more than double by 2013-14, touching $8.25 billion from the current $3.40 billion in 2009-10.
The Indian leather industry, which is largely labour intensive, employs 2.5 million people, and accounts for 2.62 per cent of the global leather import trade of $137.13 billion.
According to Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE), the target though ambitious, is achievable. He added that exports have been growing at an annual rate of 5.43 per cent over the past 5 years and from April 2010 till December, the growth rate has been 13.7 per cent in dollar terms.
He was speaking at an event announcing the launch of the India International Leather Fair (IILF), Chennai, from Monday. This year 409 exhibitors will display their products and services at the exhibition, in which they have booked over 9,100 square metres of space.
Ahmed said China, a key competitor, commanded 22 per cent of the global share in leather trade. He added that even a 10 per cent shift of business from China to India could help achieve this target.
Achievement of target would require that the Indian manufacturers invest in enhancing capacities. He added that there was a need to increase capacities by 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the existing capacities if doubling of capacity was not possible. He said the industry, would in the process create 5lakh additional jobs.