Agra’s Footwear Industries: A Heritage That Contributes To India’s Economy

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The Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber (AFMEC), was established in 1998 to promote footwear manufacturing and export within the periphery of Agra.
Main objective of the AFMEC has been to adopt modern technology as well as highest quality standards in footwear manufacturing so as to compete in the European /American and other markets outside India. AFMEC started organizing “MEET AT AGRA”, an yearly exhibition-cum-fair, in the year 2007 to promote AGRA as an destination where the footwear machinery manufacturers /s uppliers and footwear components manufacturers/suppliers from across Asia / EUROPE / America etc. could come together at one place to showcase best of technology as well as latest products for the futuristic demand. MEET AT AGRA has been the success story of AFMEC over the years as the number of participants as well as business at the fair has increased many times during the last 12 years of its journey. MEET AT AGRA is now in its 13th year. AFMEC has also created its own state of the art exhibition-cum-convention centre namely “AGRA TRADE CENTER” on the national highway, which has become a landmark in itself. As of now AFMEC represents more than 100 leading footwear manufacturer-exporters (Rs. 3000 crores of exports from the city of Agra) and aim is to take the export turnover to Rs. 10000 crores in near future. AFMEC is serving the footwear industry in Agra in active association with Council for Leather Export (CLE) and other government departments. Agra is one of the biggest clusters in the footwear sector in India among Kolkata, Kanpur and Chennai. “There are around 10,000 micro-size units; 150 small-scale industry units; around 30 medium-scale units; and, around 15 large-scale units in the city”. Agra’s huge potential to impact the global footwear market has been recognized by the government, which released a special package for implementing its Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme. In tandem, MSME Development Institutes are working on imparting business and technical knowledge of the sector to already-existing entrepreneurs as well as those who want to work in this sector. AFMEC work as a collective force and spread awareness regarding the opportunities available by organizing seminars, meetings from time to time for its members. Though these and other similar efforts, AFMEC has started making a difference. Despite many government initiatives for the sector, footwear manufacturers and exporters think, that a lot still remains to be done and therefore the role of AFMEC.

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