In last year’s edition some 1,424 exhibitors were joined by 24,233 buyers from the main leather manufacturing provinces of China, many buying missions from multinational companies seeking new products and suppliers plus a host of international visitors from across the globe. The upcoming 17th edition is due to be held at the New International Expo Centre in Pudong, Shanghai, from September 3 – 5, 2014.

As the leading commercial and business platform for the leather industry in Mainland China, ACLE has kept pace with the times and changes in the rapid and dynamic expansion of the leather industry in China this century. 

APLF Director, Michael Duck, says: “The constant expansion of the fair is a direct result of the response by the China market’s growth and hence need for quality materials, chemicals and technology. It is the success story of ACLE as it has succeeded in introducing suppliers from a growing number of countries to leather goods and footwear manufacturers located in Mainland China.”

With China being the world’s biggest auto market by far, selling more than 23 million vehicles in 2013, 40% of which have some form of leather upholstery, this amounts to a great deal of hides and finished leather – and this is without even mentioning the billions of pairs of leather shoes and leather goods produced in the country.

Environmental controls

As the major consumer and producer of leather as well as being the biggest importer of hides, semi-finished and wet-blue it was a question of time until the government of China would enforce strict rules and regulations for the tanning industry in order to protect the environment. This has now come to pass with the closing of many smaller tanneries in northern China, in Hebei and Wuxi, until they are able to comply with strict environmental standards.

On the other hand, the closure of tanneries in China also means that less finished leather will be produced in China (after last year’s 23% drop according to the CLIA) opening up an even greater opportunity for western tanneries to export more high value-added finished leather to the Chinese manufacturing sector. This is precisely where ACLE comes into its own as the ideal business platform for the international and China leather industry.

The potential activity bubbling under the surface is clearly reflected in the growing size of ACLE which will cover a record 92,000 square metres for the 2014 event in seven halls at the New Expo Centre in Pudong.

There will be 19 national pavilions from all corners of the globe at the 2014 event. Many major chemical companies serving the China market have confirmed their space requirement. In fact, as of mid-May, 90% of the exhibition space in the international halls had had been sold with a few spaces left in the domestic halls.

CIFF and Moda Shanghai

To ensure that ACLE and its concurrent sister fair the China International Footwear Fair (CIFF) and Moda Shanghai held in Hall E4 of the exhibition centre can take place in a fully professional atmosphere, there is a full programme of information oriented events. This integral aspect of ACLE defines it as not only by being a trade fair but also as a destination where a full programme of seminars, forums, fashion shows and demonstrations about leather as well as other pertinent topics such as the environment and sustainability, the pros and cons of future processes.

VIP buyers

On a more personal level there are many influential VIP buyers invited specially to the event and who have access to the comfort of the VIP Buyers Lounge. Although there is a predominance of buyers from Mainland China, attendance is very international as many footwear brands and multinational companies source and produce in China and have their local sourcing teams attending the fair.