“The demand for leather exports has been good in the US market. Also, the European market is picking up now,” a CLE official said.

The major markets for Indian leather and its products are the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

The official said that in order to reduce dependence on traditional markets and to create niche for the products in new ones, exporters are exploring emerging markets including Latin America, Australia, Russia and Japan.

During April-August, leather exports grew by 13.6% to $2.3 billion as compared to the same period last year.

The CLE hope that Indian leather exports will reach $14 billion (currently close to $5 billion) by 2017 which may help double the number of jobs in the sector to five million.

At present, the industry employs 2.5 million people, 70% of whom are women, mainly in leather hubs in Agra, Kanpur, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pondicherry.

Source: The Hindu