Pakistan can learn from Indonesia’s model to boost leather exports

December 02, 2022

Mansoor Sadiq

Pakistan can take a leaf out of Indonesia’s book by learning its leather model and benchmarks in order to promote its exports of leather products, says an official. “The knowledge and information gained from Indonesia will help Pakistan’s leather manufacturers (tanners) about benchmark models of productivity and resource management in the domain of input raw material, energy, water, waste and transforming layouts of local tanneries to international standards,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Industries and Production said while talking to WealthPK.

With the objective of exploring business opportunities for Pakistan’s leather sector, a delegation of the National Productivity Organisation (NPO), an attached department of the Ministry of Industries and Production, conducted a visit to Indonesia along with representatives of the leather industry and relevant officials. The 11-member delegation headed by the NPO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry also included leading leather manufacturers of the country and representatives of leather garments and footwear, industrial trade bodies and training institutes.

The representatives of trade associations in the delegation discussed ways to develop better linkages and communication in Indonesia and exchange information on new techniques and technologies in leather tanning. Pakistan’s leather sector exports could not grow according to its true potential as the leather tanneries mostly rely on conventional processes and technologies leading to low productivity, mediocre product quality and significant impact on the ecosystem. After a comprehensive need analysis, the revival of this sector was targeted through the implementation of best practices learnt from the leaders in the leather sector.

The leather industry in Indonesia is one of the biggest sectors which contributes well to the Indonesian economy. It has recently been ranked in the sixth position globally as an exporter of leather products by following European standards. A spokesperson for Pakistan Business Council (PBC) told WealthPK that leather industry is the second largest export industry of Pakistan after textile sector. He said Pakistan’s composition leather (HS-420310) has been the highest export under the leather industry, which indicates the importance of Pakistan’s leather garments in the country’s economy.

Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Muhammad Ali Mahar viewed that amidst global recession and domestic and international barriers, the leather sector in Pakistan is viably engaged in export-oriented business and enhancing the leather products gradually. He said that Pakistan’s leather sector is working to move towards scientific methodology and modern techniques to further improve finished products of leather. Pakistan has a prominent identity across the world for producing high-quality leather products.

The country is blessed with an agrarian economy and there is an abundance of livestock as well as all seasonal crops, fruits, and grains. Having fertile pastures for animal fodder, a large livestock population plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan, where approximately more than 14 million animal hides and 49 million skins are produced per annum. There are 850 tanneries in Pakistan engaged in producing the best quality finished leather of cow, buffalo, sheep and goat skins. Pakistan’s leather quality is also reportedly better in quality in respect of grain, substance and compactness of fibers. Pakistan Leather Garments Manufactures and Exporters Association (PLGMEA) is of the view that leather sector is of core importance to earn suitable foreign exchange for the country, and seeking potential at government’s level is of vital importance.

An official of the PLGMEA stated that an organisation plays the role of mediator for the leather sector of the country to address any trade and export related matters amicably relating complaints of foreign customers for payments and subsequent facilities, adding that the state institutions should enhance coordinated efforts to address such issues of leather exporters of Pakistan in global markets. As per data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports of leather garments of Pakistan witnessed an increase of 10.15% during the fiscal year 2021-22 and exports potential for Pakistan’s leather finished products including gloves, jackets and bags has also increased in world markets.


Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk