Speaking at the closing ceremony, Hom Nath Upadhaya, President of LFGMAN, said visitor turnout at the seven-day show was overwhelming. “This shows that Nepalis have started preferring local products over foreign brands,” he said, adding that domestic footwear companies currently enjoys 55% share in the Nepali footwear market.

According to the organisers, more than 135,000 people visited the expo this year. They plan to organize the expo in a larger space in the future.

Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar, Senior Vice-President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said private sector has to take leadership for economic growth.

“The government promises support to the private sector, but it is not implemented in practice. Time has come for the private sector to step ahead to lead economic development,” Rajkarnikar added. He also urged footwear producers to do their homework in creating a collective trademark for Nepali shoes.

Hem Ratna Shakya, President of the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN), urged the government to reduce customs duty on raw materials consumed by footwear companies. “This will help make Nepali footwear competitive in the market,” he added.

The Leather Goods exhibition featured 95 stands from different companies.

Source: Republica