CHENNAI: A consultation meeting aimed to strengthen co-operation among leather industries in the South Asian region concluded recently here on September 4, 2012. The meeting, attended by leading policy makers, industry, academia and other stakeholders from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, highlighted various measures to increase the exports of leather and leather products collaboratively.
Dubbed as the Regional Consultation on Strengthening Competitiveness of South Asia in leather and leather products was organised under the project of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 'Development-Oriented Integration in South Asia'.
It was jointly organized by UNCTAD (Geneva), Asian Development Bank (India) and the Commonwealth Secretariat (London) in collaboration with the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Chennai, and the Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME), New Delhi.
The Consultation meeting zeroed in to form a regional industry association called Leather Industries Association of South Asia (LIASA) which will be initially represented by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Nepal and Afghanistan will be inducted as members later on.
M Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE) will spearhead LIASA and it will have separate panels for various product groups namely leather, footwear components, leather garments, gloves, leather components and leather chemicals and each panel will be represented by members of the respective National Associations of the member-countries.
Moreover, a working group of LIASA comprising industry members will also be formed to hold frequent discussions and exchange of ideas and identify areas of co-operation.
LIASA is an initial step to build a long-term understanding and co-operation among leather industries in the South Asian region.