Leather exports from India, currently at $3 billion, is set to touch $8 billion within the next five years with a growth of about 167 per cent, said a leading industry body on Monday.
The leather industry would generate an additional two million jobs over and above the 2.5 million people which it currently employs, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a statement in New Delhi.
The small and medium sector contributes about 65 per cent of the total exports with export volumes ranging to about a little less than $2 billion.
"The leather industry can transform itself for a complete turnaround with increase in tanning and production capacity to cater to the huge footwear market," said Venugopal Dhoot, president, Assocham.
The growth would also be fuelled by a special economic zone being developed by the government of Tamil Nadu for footwear in Siriperumbudur near Chennai.
According to Assocham, the footwear industry would continue to be the largest segment of exports, constituting about 56 per cent of the total, and to a value of $4.3 billion of the total $7 billion.
The key markets for leather products exported from India are Germany, Britain, USA, Italy and Spain. Leather footwear exports were to the tune of $602 million in 2004, finished leather exports were $577 million and leather goods stood at $568.46 million.