Wednesday April 24, 2024

‘Leather shoes, accessories have potential to explore European markets’

By Jawwad Rizvi
February 03, 2023

LAHORE: Pakistani leather shoes and accessories have a potential to explore the European markets and can fetch good number of orders with a benefit of low prices and good quality, according to Roberto Pellegrino, CEO of the Expo Riva Schuh.

The Riva Schuh expo is held in Riva Del Garda, Italy, and is considered the world's largest shoe expo.

In an interview with The News during his maiden visit to Pakistan to attend the 8th Pakistan Mega Leather Show, the CEO said Pakistani shoe makers needed to attend trade shows and expos held in Europe to display their work to the European buyers.

“Currently, European buyers are unaware of the quality and prices of Pakistani products. Further, they are also unaware of the shoe production capacity of Pakistani industry which is now growing with fast pace and getting advantages of closing of Chinese shoe industry,” he said.

Pellegrini, who had never visited Pakistan before, was amazed with the hospitality and engagements of locals with

positive gesture and peaceful environment.

“I see a peaceful Pakistan and a good environment for doing businesses here and will definitely contribute my part to promote Pakistani shoe and leather accessories in European markets.”

The Italian shoe expo leader thanked the Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA) for inviting him and exposing the potential of Pakistani shoe industry.

‘We have signed a MoU with PFMA for three years so that we will mutually engage the buyers and producers to grow the business of Pakistan from Expo Riva Schuh,” he informed.

Explaining the Expo Riva Schuh, Pellegrini mentioned that it was the largest expo of not only the Europe but the world where more than 10,000 global buyers, 1500 exhibitors from 40 countries attended in January.

He mentioned that largest buyers, brands, and stores attend the show so the Pakistani producers had a good opportunity to get good size of business by attending the show in the future.

The Expo Riva Schuh holds two expos in a year one in January and other in June.

The objectivity of engaging Pakistani producers was to provide the buyers and sellers a platform where they could get a win-win deal, he added.

“Since, the buyers are getting smart and inflationary pressures also shrinking their purchasing powers, so they are also looking for low price quality products. The pricing of Pakistani shoe industry is very attractive for the European big store buyers so the Pakistani producers can fetch good market.”

On a question about in the presence of Chinese products in Europe which is cheaper and attractive designed on modern technology, Pellegrini said Chinese hold 54 percent of global foot market share, but not able to cover all the market needs.

“Thus, this shows the room exists for other players, especially countries like Pakistan which has not unleashed the potential of European markets yet.”

However, he added, it would not be an easy to go to the market and Pakistani producers would need to work on product design, development, and producing the products in accordance with the European buyers.

Furthermore, it would be also a challenge for the PFMA to how it would get the European market shares. To enter the market, there would be some requirements such as certifications, fresh investments, and a visibility of their products in the trade shows in Europe. However, the investments could result in getting good number of orders from European buyers, Pellegrini said.