Leather and Footwear Industry Sees Bright Future Despite Economic Crisis

SHARJAH — The footwear industry is unlikely to face any serious crisis despite the economic slowdown, Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah, said.

By Aneela Batool

Published: Thu 12 Feb 2009, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:34 PM

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Expo Riva Schuh Middle East 09 in Sharjah, he said: “This is mainly because we are continuing to add new retail space, which spurs demand for a variety of products and brands — footwear and leather products being prominent among them.”

ExpoRiva Schuh Middle East, the region’s leading trade fair fully dedicated to footwear and leather products, will run 
until Wednesday.

“The fact that majority of the construction projects in the country are progressing well means millions of square metres of retail space will be added to our economy in the near future. This is going to offer a tremendous opportunity to the footwear and leather products sector,” Al Midfa said.

Roberto Pellegrini, president of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, said: “Despite the weakness of markets, many companies have confirmed their trust in Expo Riva Schuh Middle East by investing in the opportunities offered by this area.”

“With Expo Riva Schuh Middle East, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi Spa and Expo Centre Sharjah have created a platform that aims to meet the growing needs of markets in the Middle East, offering a wide range of products,” Pellegrini said.

“The event will allow companies to reach new markets, thanks to its location in the centre of an area surrounding no less than 24 countries in the Middle East and the former Soviet Republics,” he added.

The show this time is featuring around 150 exhibitors and brands of leather goods and footwear in the low, medium and high-end brackets, representing 20 different countries. Italy with 22 companies continues to be the biggest exhibitor. This is followed by China and India respectively. Pakistan, too, has a significant presence.

Expo Riva Schuh Middle East is held in association with its world-renowned parent show in Italy, Expo Riva Schuh. “The Italian show has a waiting list of more than 300 for its next edition to be held in June 2009. In association with its organiser Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Expo Centre Sharjah will leverage on the success of the Italian show here in the Middle East,” said Fasahat Ali Khan, advisor to the chairman and board of directors, Sharjah Expo.

· aneela@khaljeejtimes.com

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