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Future of leather industry is bright.

Future of Leather Industry is bright

Q. Do you think that the present law and order situation of the country is in favour of industrialization with special reference to Leather Industry? A. Deterioration in law and order situation always hampers industrialization and economic activity and leather industry is no exception to it. But I think the law and order situation is improving and as such the industry would flourish. Q. The package of incentives announced by the Government in line with the demands of Pakistan Tanners Association, appears to be encouraging. Do you think that this will bring a substantial increase in the export earnings. A. The package of incentives recently announced by the government is quite encouraging. It would certainly increase the export earnings provided national and international atmosphere remains conducive. Q. Major buyers of our leather and leather products are European countries like Italy, Germany, France, UK. These countries are at present involved in fighting a war in the Gulf, so the leather export of these countries will be drastically affected. Do you think that diversification of exports in the Far East will be a desirable solution? A. War always has its devastating effects. The recession in America and some other European countries is high. The post war conditions would be more challenging. Pakistan would have to face difficulties in export oriented items. Leather garments being expensive would experience more problems. Diversification of exports though desirable but not at all feasible so far the leather products are concerned. Leather and leather garments are mostly used in America and other European countries because of weather conditions. Secondly these are expensive items. There is nominal market for leather goods in Far East. So diversification of leather export goods is not possible in Far East. Q. The problem of leather industry are those which are of cottage industries in Pakistan. Do you think that the industry should be re-defined and re-organized for financing and procurement of raw material? A. Finance is eesential whether it is a cottage industry or a big industrial unit, irrespective of the fact that what it produces. But leather industry needs more finances. Main exporters of leather garments easily manage finances. The small manufacturers have the problem of finances. But these small manufacturers are not in export business. They cater to the local market. Finance does not play an important role for them. Q. Machinery prices are likely to escalate as a result of Gulf War. Do you think rates of interest for loans for this purpose should be revised downward. A. Financial position of Pakistan is not good, as such the rates of interest for loans cannot be revised downward at this juncture. Further the leasing has started which is expensive but the finances are there. The problem of leasing companies is that they are not contacting exporters and manufacturers. Moreover, we have less knowledge about leasing. Q. How do you foresee the future of leather industry in Pakistan in 1991. A. Future of leather industry is quite bright. There is a boom in the international market and it is likely to remain for coming 5 years or so. War of course has affected the market. But the incentives given by the government should continue and the problems should be sorted out accordingly. There is big boom in Punjab. Many leather factories have been installed there. Our machinery sales in Punjab have increased over 125 per cent. Out of this over 80 per cent pertains to garments and knitwear and rest pertains to leather. Karachi market has also improved. But the overall industrial boom including leather industry is evident in Punjab. So, I am very much optimistic that the year ahead will certainly be a good year not only for leather industries but for all the industries in our country if the government patronage continues the same way.

Ariff Ali Rashid (46) is one of the main persons behind Almurtaza Machinery Co. (Pvt.) Limited - a company engaged in supplying all the Machinery related to the Garment Industry. He did his B.E. from England. He is a renowned social worker.
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Title Annotation:interview with Ariff Rashid
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:interview
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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