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India seeks duty-free access for leather goods in trade pacts, $10 billion exports by 2025.


Date: 18-11-2021
Subject: India seeks duty-free access for leather goods in trade pacts, $10 billion exports by 2025
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that India is seeking duty free market access for its leather goods in countries, including UAE, UK and Australia, with which it is negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

At an event organised by the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), he also expressed hope that talks for a similar agreement with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will be launched sometime in January or February next year. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are part of the GCC.

“We are trying to get market access, duty free for our leather industry and that is one of our prime asks when we are talking to the UAE, UK, Australia,” Goyal said.

He also said the European Union has appointed a chief negotiator and an engagement with them will start very soon.

“I do hope Israel can open up their doors for our leather products. All of these countries, we are looking at talking to them for better market access and better opportunities for your sector,” he said.

The minister also said that the sector can clock above $10 billion exports by 2025.

“I do feel very satisfied that you are aspiring to grow to at least $10 billion by 2025, though this still gives you only a growth rate of about 15-17%. Whereas looking at the potential of all of you, I think we can look at even more ambitious targets,” Goyal said, adding that the Kolhapuri Chappals alone can achieve $1 billion exports target.

CLE Chairman Sanjay Leekha said the industry has set an export target of $5.89 billion for the current year and it is aiming to reach $10 billion by 2025.

“Besides, we are aiming at reaching a domestic leather products and footwear turnover of $20 billion by 2025 from the present turnover of $12 billion,” he said.

He also urged the government to extend the benefits of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to the sector as it would help in boosting manufacturing, creating jobs and increasing exports.

Source:economictimes.com

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