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NEW DELHI: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal placed significant emphasis on the Indian footwear and leather industry, highlighting its role as a major foreign exchange earner. During the India International Footwear Fair 2023 (IIFF) held in New Delhi, he emphasised the industry’s labour-intensive nature, contributing to employment opportunities for approximately 4.5 million people, of which 40% are women.

Goyal expressed utmost confidence in India’s potential to ascend as the global leader in producing top-quality footwear. Drawing attention to India’s impressive rankings, he highlighted its position as the world’s second-largest exporter of leather garments, third-largest exporter of saddlery & harnesses, and fourth-largest exporter of leather goods.

Furthermore, the minister underlined the noteworthy fact that over 95% of production units in this industry fall under the purview of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).

Goyal said that Indian size of footwear will be launched soon to help distinguish Indian footwear around the globe and reduce dependence on foreign sizing trends. The minister said that testing facilities will be established by the government as part of India’s footwear and leather development programme.

Goyal urged the stakeholders to expand the business while keeping the focus on quality and sustainability, eco-friendly process, waste management, and exploring renewable sources for electricity.

He mentioned that institutions like CLRI, FDDI, and NIFT will collaborate with the industry in developing new products and technologies in tune with the changing trends and requirements of the market.

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Updated: 29 Jul 2023, 07:16 PM IST

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