The congress is organised by the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) and is the official event of UITIC and the main technical summit meeting for the world footwear sector.

Nowadays, Asian countries are leading the global economic growth, and the shoemaking industry in Asia has witnessed rapid growth. Since China joined UITIC it has appointed as one of executive committee members. During the press conference held November 13, Yves Morin, President of UITIC and CEO of CTC Groupe said, “it is pleasure to see the congress being held in China, I thought CLIA is the best organisation to be entrusted to hold the meeting.”

Su Chaoying, CLIA’s chairmen, said that during the past 25 years the world leather industry had experienced dramatic changes and much of the shoemaking had shifted from developed countries to new emerging economies, particularly to Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand as well as China. Meanwhile, the industry also faces the new challenges of rising production costs, a shortage of labour, increased environment protection, and increased social responsibility.

There are 26 industrial experts from ten countries attending the congress. Three speeches will be given by experts from UNIDO and will focus on the topics of corporate social responsibility, features of American shoemaking industry, and a profile of the Chinese shoemaking industry.

23 keynote speakers will present 24 speeches during the congress, and participants can share their opinions and research on five key topics that include: product and process innovation, working conditions, consumers and customers, business practices and social responsibility implementation.

The 18th congress has attracted over 300 participants, with 100 coming from outside China. Delegates will also be visiting major Chinese companies such as Belle and Huajian, in which delegates can see the remarkable achievements of these companies and learn the experiences of CSR from them.