The Leather Footwear and Goods Manufacturers’ Association of Nepal is organising the seven-day exhibition with the aim of promoting and branding domestic products among the Nepali people. The expo will have 95 stalls from 75 manufacturers across the country showcasing shoes, jackets, bags, purses and belts, among other leather goods. 

Association President Homnath Upadhyay said on December 22 that the main aim of the expo was branding of domestic leather products and informing people about the latest products from local leather goods manufacturers. He added that domestic shoes could replace imported products making the country self-sufficient if they were branded properly. 

“As Nepali manufacturers have been producing stylish footwear with the latest technology, people have started going for local products,” he said. This type of expo will help customers to find out about the latest products in the market, he added. 

Meanwhile, Krishna Kumar Phuyal, coordinator of the fair, said the event would be a platform for manufacturers to exhibit their products to their customers. “Manufacturers will also be able to learn from the fair as there will be direct interaction with consumers. Moreover, competition among manufacturers will urge them to come forward with new designs and styles,” he said. 

According to the organiser, the domestic footwear and leather industry, which consists of 700 manufacturers, provides 300,000 jobs. Nepali made shoes account for 55% of the market, they said. “Though Nepali footwear products have great potential in the domestic market, 45% of the market is still taken up by imports. 

That is why we should address the requirements of customers by producing more stylish shoes and compete with international brands,” Phuyal said.

Meanwhile, the association’s collective trademark was launched at the event to announce the fair. The initiative aims to prohibit sales of imported shoes under Nepali brands. “We have launched the logo to stop this kind of activity following reports that some domestic companies had been selling imported shoes with Nepali labels. We will issue the logo after assessing the manufacturing company,” said the president. 

According to the association, there will be a 15% discount on footwear products at the fair. Organisers expect 200,000 visitors to attend the event over seven days.

Source: E Kantipur