Held simultaneously with CIFF and Moda Shanghai, the three concurrent exhibitions adequately complement each other and are jointly organised by APLF Ltd and the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA). The fairs were held from September 4-6 and attracted over 10,000 buyers on the first day (a 16% increase over last year). Over the last 16 years the three fairs have developed at a steady pace but growth over last year was particularly significant. They have overall grown by approximately 10% compared to 2012 both in terms of size and number of exhibitors, covering 8 halls compared to 7 last year.
At a press conference held September 4, Michael Duck, Director of APLF Ltd reminded the audience of the importance of the Chinese leather industry both as an importer and a global supplier. He said China was in the process of shifting from being solely a production base to being a fashion and potentially a trend-setter. “We are still at an early stage of the process but I believe Chinese designed products will be increasingly accepted by both Chinese and international consumers”, he commented. Thanks to growing disposable income and to the emergence of internet shopping, China’s domestic market is expanding too, increasing considerably the global demand for leather products.

Su Chaoying, Chairman of China Leather Industry Association, confirmed China’s domestic market expansion and said he expected more market growth and regulation in the near future, especially in the area of e-commerce. Generally speaking, while figures of annual sales revenue, imports, exports and output are rising, growth rate of the industry is stabilising. The main concern for the industry continues to be the alarming limited supply of raw material resources and the resulting increase in their price.

The show organisers put together a programme of events, including a set of seminars designed to inform and educate all participants. It was kicked off with a presentation of the European REACh standards, by the French group Centre Technique du Cuir (CTC), and was followed by a workshop addressed to designers about the various characteristics of leather.

At the ACLE this year Turkey was the most represented country in terms of number of exhibitors outside of China. This year, the India Council for Leather Exports (CLE) and the Indian Leather Garments Association (ILGA) brought a delegation of 28 exporters. Talking on the second day of the exhibition, the association’s President, Moti Lal Sethi said the delegation’s initial goal of meeting international buyers had been fulfilled. “Our second goal is to become familiar with the Chinese market and to explore business possibilities such as outsourcing”, he said. “I am hopeful that the collaboration between the Chinese and the Indian leather industries will gain momentum over the coming year”, he added.

The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) and its sister fairs China International Footwear Fair and Moda Shanghai will take place next year at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, from September 3-5, 2014.