During the India International Footwear Fair 2023 (IIFF) in New Delhi, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal made a significant announcement about India introducing its own 'Indian size of footwear.' This step is intended to reduce dependency on foreign sizing trends and foster a sense of self-reliance within the domestic footwear industry. Goyal enthusiastically emphasized India's immense potential to become the world's foremost producer of top-notch footwear, envisioning a future where the nation plays a central role in the global footwear market. This move reflects India's determination to assert its identity and enhance its position in the competitive footwear industry on a global scale.
As per the ministry's statement, Piyush Goyal emphasized that the Indian footwear and leather industry plays a vital role in the country's economy. Notably, it serves as a significant foreign exchange earner and is a major source of employment for about 4.5 million people. What's noteworthy is that 40 percent of this workforce comprises women, highlighting the sector's contribution to gender inclusivity in the job market. The industry is recognized as a 'labor-intensive sector,' underscoring its reliance on a substantial workforce to drive production and growth.
In a captivating tribute to the local craftsmanship, the esteemed minister praised the exquisite 'Kolhapuri Footwear of Maharashtra and Mojari Footwear of Rajasthan.' With unwavering admiration, he highlighted these artisanal wonders as compelling attractions for international buyers, alluding to their captivating allure rooted in a rich and diverse history. Their timeless artistry and cultural significance make them treasures worthy of global appreciation and recognition.
“India is the second-largest exporter of leather garments, the third-largest exporter of Saddlery & Harness, and the fourth-largest exporter of Leather Goods in the world.”
Goyal underscored a remarkable fact: over 95% of the production units within this sector are categorized under the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME). This emphasis on MSME units showcases the sector's inclusive and supportive approach towards smaller businesses, contributing significantly to India's economic growth and employment opportunities.
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