LAHORE, June 6 (APP): Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), President Shah Faisal Afridi on Monday said that ‘Made in Pakistan’ tag should be promoted while going for international market.

He expressed these views here in a discussion session with a delegation
from Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA).

During discussion, the prime issue under debate was the quality and
value addition of footwear and leather related products including their marketing and placement in the international market.

Shah Faisal Afridi maintained that initiatives should be taken by the
footwear industry stakeholders to compete the international footwear brands. Modernization in designs and new production techniques should be practiced by avoiding conventional ways, he added.

He stated that in today’s modern world, people were more conscious about their appearance compared to earlier times. “Gone are the days when clothing and shoes were just basic needs. Now-a-days people like positive change in their life style, and this positive change gives manufacturers an opportunity to win the consumer market just by creating something new and innovative for the customers,” he remarked.

He said that it is the time for Pakistan to market only one brand that
is “Made in Pakistan”. He was of the view that Business should be totally based on the customer needs, and marketers have to be customer oriented rather than being producer oriented. He suggested to create a dynamic footwear industry, which cannot be possible without knowing the international market needs, aesthetics and comfort.

Adding to the discussion, the PFMA Secretary General Liaqat Ali Qamar
asked about the opportunities available in China and how Pak-China Joint Chamber could be helpful in expanding exports of footwear in Chinese market. He said that seeking the demand of something unique and different in market, Pakistani traditional footwear designs could be modified and exported to China and other potent markets.
He said that Pakistani Tanning Industry is well established and produces
high quality finished leather from hides as well as skins. He informed that the footwear industry in Pakistan spares no efforts to maintain highest quality in its production which has helped retain consumer confidence. All raw materials, ingredients and chemicals undergo analysis and physical tests in accredited laboratories, he said.
PFMA Executive Committee member Javed Iqbal Siddiqui suggested that
government should increase export of leather products by rationalizing tariffs and import of eco-friendly chemicals. He said that high cost of various inputs, especially utilities and taxes, make the country’s products uncompetitive in the international market.

Both the parties jointly agreed that combined efforts should be made
towards the value-added finished goods of leather rather than exporting resources in raw form and urged the government to ban export of hides and semi-tanned leather or levy a 25 per cent duty on export of semi-finished and finished leather.