Huge trade opportunities in Russia for leather, footwear exports: CLE Chairman

New Delhi: Huge export opportunities are present in Russia for domestic leather and footwear industry, Council for Leather Exports said on Friday.

Russia has imported leather and footwear worth USD 3.9 billion in 2018, and India's exports to that country stood at only USD 52.6 million, said Panaruna Aqeel Ahmed, chairman of Council for Leather Exports (CLE).

"The figures clearly reflect the export opportunities for domestic players in the Russian market. It will play a crucial role in achieving our envisaged double-digit export growth levels in the coming years," Aqeel said in a statement.

Russia is the 13th largest global importer of leather, leather products and footwear.

To penetrate the Russian market, he said, the council is not only looking at participation in fairs like Mosshoes, but also at collaboration with Russian trade and business associations by inviting them to participate in reverse buyer-seller meets in India.

Last week, the chairman led a delegation of 24 leading Indian exporters of leather products and footwear to Russia to participation in the Mosshoes Fair in Moscow.

Mosshoes is the biggest exhibition for footwear and leather products, witnessing participation of over 1,000 brands across the globe.

India's total exports of leather and footwear products was USD 5.7 billion in 2018-19.

The current major export destinations for the sector include Europe and the US. The sector employs about 42 lakh people.

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