Promising over 5,000 visitors, with 100 exhibitors from a wide range of countries, the second addition of APLF ASEAN opened on October 25, 2023, at the modern Queen Sirikit Exhibition Centre in Bangkok. The opening ceremony started in true Thailand style with addresses from APLF Ltd, the Thai Tanners Association and other dignitaries.

Traditional dancers and a hearty welcome were the first order of business for the crowd. The mood of the trade fair is one of pride for a region of Asia that does not always get the attention that it is receiving from so many visitors.

An optimistic view from APLF Director, Grace Lee about the growth potential of the regional leather industry set a healthy tone for the start of the trade fair. Many exciting workshops, design-a-bag activities, lectures and talks from regional and international experts were part of the events on the first day, with plenty more events planned for the remaining two days.

Many of the conversations between exhibitors and visitors seemed enthusiastic and positive and like many of the trade fairs so far this year – the meetings between participants seemed to more productive than previous years when trade shows seemed more speculative.