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SA uniquely positioned to tap into exotic leather market: Davies

30 May 2016 - 09:49 By TMG Digital

South Africa is uniquely positioned to tap into the international luxury and exotic leather market and to develop a world-class local exotic leather industry‚ according to Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. He was speaking at the 24th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group in Skukuza‚ Mpumalanga. “The global luxury market is now recovering from the financial crisis and is again showing untapped growth potential. This industry has untapped potential in terms of economic growth and local job creation. This ranges across the entire value chain‚ from initial stakeholders such as producers and tanneries to final export-ready leather goods as well as specialised animal husbandry skills to design and leather craft skills‚” said Davies.According to the minister‚ South Africa has made tremendous contributions in consolidating conservation against both the commercial value and the role of leather goods in societies. He said recent policy‚ micro economic reforms and strategic interventions had turned around the labour absorbing priority industry in the footwear‚ leather‚ leather and general goods‚ ostrich leather‚ crocodile leather and taxidermy industry sub-sectors from stagnation to growth. “These sub sectors were approved a R1.1 billion incentive from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) until March 2016. The approval of R795 million in production incentives has stabilised the industry in these sub-sectors through capital upgrade and improved competitiveness‚” said Davies. He added that the noticeable feature of the dti’s national support measures was the approval of R295 million to establish one national cluster and four sub-national vertical clusters for improving competitiveness and retail collaboration of the leather industry.The support measures had also resulted in capacity expansions by many manufacturers‚ the establishment of 28 new companies‚ creation of 2‚200 sustainable jobs‚ and growth in exports by over R1 billion mainly through the leather industry and reduction of trade deficit by R1.5 billion. Davies added that the establishment of the Exotic Leather Sub-National Cluster in 2015 had opened up new opportunities for South Africa to ensure that the local industry participants had management plans that ensured sustainability of the industry‚ conservation of wild populations‚ care for the environment‚ compliance with animal welfare requirements and adhered to socio-economic expectations. “The establishment of the cluster was aimed at enhancing local beneficiation of the exotic leather resources‚ the promotion of the export of finished high-value added exotic leather accessories and in supporting spatial economic welfare in the upstream crocodile and ostrich farming‚” he stated...

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