A couple of decades ago, it was difficult to find leather shoes in Uzbekistan. In the near future however, it is likely that European consumers will wear shoes Made in Uzbekistan. This is the ambition of Farkhod Nurmukhamedov, Deputy Chairman of Uzcharmsanoat, the Leather, Footwear and fur producers of Uzbekistan Association and of its members. The association was re-organized in 2018 to stimulate the development of the leather, footwear and fur industry which had been identified by the government as a high potential one. The association provides practical assistance to industry enterprises in solving various issues and problems in the production and export process.


Since 2018, the government has provided the industry support in the form of tax and customs exemptions, as well as preferential loans and vocational education programmes. As a result of technological modernization and localization in recent years, the industry has been widely developed and should develop further thanks to a five years strategy implemented with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, called “Program for the Development and Implementation of Economic Reforms in the Leather and Footwear Industry for 2022-2026”. The program determines the directions of reforming the industry in 2022-2026, and encourages an increase in the range of products. It also covers the issues of expanding industrial cooperation, investment, export and digitalization of the industry.


Specific goals include to widen access to foreign markets, especially to Europe, and to make full use of the GSP + system of preferences, which Uzbekistan joined this year as well as reducing the cost of manufactured products, creating equal and competitive conditions for all manufacturers in product markets, creating national brands of local enterprises and supporting these national brands in foreign market; and last but not least improving the local training system.


Regarding the latter, tasks are set to create a modern training and production laboratory at the Tashkent Institute of Textile and Light Industry, to improve the skills of specialists abroad, and train mid-level workers.


However, the priorities have been to establish small production clusters and to increase employment: 234 projects in about 16 locations that should create more than 11,100 new employments have been established so far.


Also, according to experts’ estimates, the market for women and children shoes is expected to grow by an average of 6.5 per year. At the same time, considering that women buy  4 to 6 pairs per year,


“This industry occupies an important place in the production of consumer goods and represents about 1.1 per cent of the country’s GDP,” explains Numurkhamedov, speaking from one of APLF Dubai’s most stunning booths, all white and blue reminding of the country’s symbolic colors.A couple of decades ago, it was difficult to find leather shoes in Uzbekistan. In the near future however, it is likely that European consumers will wear shoes Made in Uzbekistan. This is the ambition of Farkhod Nurmukhamedov, Deputy Chairman of Uzcharmsanoat, the Leather, Footwear and fur producers of Uzbekistan Association and of its members. The association was re-organized in 2018 to stimulate the development of the leather, footwear and fur industry which had been identified by the government as a high potential one. The association provides practical assistance to industry enterprises in solving various issues and problems in the production and export process.

Between 2017 and 2021, production of leather products and footwear grew almost 6 times. During the same period, exports increased from US$105 million to US$421 million, thus growing 4 times.

 

“At the moment our main exporting markets are China and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries but we want to widen the export geography, which is why we decided to participate in APLF for the first time this year,” explains Nurmukhamedov.

 

“It also provides a unique opportunity to meet the Italian manufacturers of machinery which we have acquired in recent years and have been using since we started to benefit from the government support to improve our production equipment,” he adds.

 

Another goal of the association is to increase Foreign Direct Investments. According to Numurkhamedov, a large supply of raw material base in the local market and in neighboring countries, the development of clusters, government support, good logistics in terms of transport infrastructure and supply of utilities make investing in the leather-footwear and fur industry in Uzbekistan very profitable right now.

About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.

 

We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.

 

APLF Fairs follow Informa AllSecure, Informa’s approach to enhanced health and safety standards at events in the aftermath of COVID-19.

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